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Test your soil for increased crop production, Kirinyaga farmers advised

Farmers in Kirinyaga County have been advised to carry out soil testing to determine the right type of cropping best suited for their type of soil.

CEC agriculture in Kirinyaga Jackeline Njogu said farmers should take advantage of the Kenya Agricultural Research Center in the county where soil testing is done for free.

Speaking to farmers at Kutus, Njogu said testing of the soil would determine the acidity in the soil and the farmer could be guided on what to do to improve on the yields.

She said many of the farmers continued incurring loss in production, which could be dealt with by the officers employed by the government to carry out the work.

A tomato demonstration used by the county government to teach farmers on improved farming methods. Photo by Irungu Mwangi

“Soil testing is key to the success of the farmers determining the best-suited crop for the farmer’s soil,” Njogu said

The official said KALRO centers at Kimbimbi in Mwea have soil laboratories, which could be utilized by the farmers in enhancing their crop production.

She said other services that could benefit the farmer from the centers included soil, water, and tissue analysis, plant pathology assay, environmental, and microbiology testing.

“Soil testing is the only way to determine the available nutrient status on earth and the way the farmer can tell the specific fertilizer for his soil,” she said.

“Potential soil and water pollution can also be minimized when the nutrient application is geared to the needs of a particular crop,” Njogu told the farmers.

The official said coffee farmers have also been encouraged to have their soil tested in a programme managed by the National government aimed at increasing coffee production in the county.

“I am telling the farmers to follow the advice given by the extension officers, one of them is to establish the additives required in their farms by taking the soil for testing,” Njogu said.

She said farmers who followed the guidelines and were able to do as advised reaped maximum benefits from their engagements contrary to those who carried out their farming without utilizing the services provided by the agricultural officers who were spreading all over the county.

By Irungu Mwangi

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