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Uasin Gishu maize farmers shift to potato farming

Uasin Gishu County is renowned for being the agricultural stronghold of the country due to its large-scale farming.

Residents of Tarakwa in Burnt Forest have lauded the county government for their support through the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP).

Their support has been evident in the recent huge harvest of potatoes planted by the Pambazuka women group in the past season.

Speaking to KNA during the harvest of the Irish potatoes, Uasin Gishu county Agricultural Field Officer Mikuogo Stanislas, said that research done showed that Tarakwa area is doing well in Irish potato farming compared to maize farming thus they advised the farmers accordingly.

“The advantage of planting potatoes is that you can harvest it more than once a year compared to Maize farming which takes longer in the farm. I also advise the farmers to always use the certified potato seed because it is proven to produce good yield. I also want to thank the county for the support and training they have offered to the farmers through various service providers,”Mikuogo said.

Tarakwa Community Driven Development Committee (CDDC) representative Rose Bett, together with the Pambazuka Women Group members, expressed their overwhelming joy and gratitude to the county government for the great support for their success.

The CDDC pointed out that KCSAP offered the farmers 60 bags of the certified potato seeds which yielded an approximate of 300 bags of potatoes in the past season. Additionally, farmers were provided with agrochemicals, fertilizers and pesticides to help improve the yields.

The Pambazuka Women Group chairlady Nancy Kiprop stated that the group was initially formed for the purpose of uplifting each other and when they had the chance of getting the Government funding, they decided to hand in their proposal so as to receive material support.

“We have plans of replanting the seeds we have set aside from the harvest since we are assured that we have the right quality of seeds and to ensure that the project becomes sustainable to enable farmers to become independent and fend for their family needs through potato farming,” said Kiprop.

On his part, Hillary Bett, a potato farmer and member of the group, said they have been receiving regular training through KCSAP from preparation of land, planting, spacing of the land and the ratio of chemicals to apply in a particular unit area of land.

The KCSAP since its establishment, has been at the forefront in facilitating farmers through various farming projects like poultry farming, beehive keeping, and dairy farming among others in a bid to improve their livelihoods, enhance food security and promote environmental conservation.

By Anastacious Chepkemoi

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