Coffee farmers in Trans Nzoia County have been assured of the government’s support in order to increase the cash crop production in the region.
County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Agriculture Ms. Phanice Khatundi and her Trade, Tourism and Cooperative counterpart Mr. Stanley Kirui made the assurance during a field visit at Siboti Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society and Elgon Tea factory in Saboti Sub County on Thursday.
Addressing farmers present, Khatundi disclosed plans by the devolved unit to provide farmers with improved and high quality seed varieties to enable increased yield production from the current average of 2.5kgs to about 10kgs per coffee tree.
She cited Ruiri 11 as one the earmarked coffee varieties which would soon be procured by the agriculture department before being distributed to coffee farmers in the County.
“Research has proven Ruiri 11 is one the best coffee varieties in connection with the soil content and climatic condition in this region,” remarked Khatundi, adding the variety has been recognized for its resilience against pests and related diseases.
The CEC further assured farmers of the county government’s commitment toward putting in place various intervention mechanisms aimed at addressing some of the challenges faced by them.
According to Khatundi, the devolved unit plans to recruit more agricultural field extension officers who besides offering regular extension services will also help in capacity building in the region.
The field officers, she added, will be adequately facilitated to enable the farmers to reap maximum benefits from the farming activity, in addition to improving their living standards.
“Our administration led by Governor George Natembeya has identified agriculture as one of the key sectors capable of spurring the county’s economic growth and development,” Khatundi stated.
On his part, CEC Kirui disclosed his ministry will soon roll out support programmes aimed at strengthening management structures for all cooperative societies in the County.
“Besides restructuring coffee cooperative societies there is an urgent need to modernize their activities,” noted Kirui.
Siboti Factory is one of the biggest Coffee factories in the County with an asset base of Shs.150 million.
By Maurice Aluda