May 13, 2019
Agriculture is the backbone of Western Kenya’s economy. The Kakamega Agri-Expo event was timely since most people in this region solely depend on rain-fed agriculture for their livelihood.
The event held this month at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kakamega brought the farming community and other Agricultural stakeholders together, for market linkage and knowledge exchange to enable this sector in the county to thrive.
The Project Manager Celestine Musavi of Savistine limited Company said, the company sought the partnership of the Kakamega County Government and the Masinde Muliro University, as they viewed the institutions key in the process of achieving the core objective of the project.” Our company brought the two institutions on board in order to get Small-scale Farmers educated so that they can learn and practice profitable farming, and get linkages for the future, in case they need further support in the future.” She said adding that the company prides its self in organizing results-oriented knowledge platforms, where different sectors get to learn. “With full understanding that there are other field days, the Kakamega Agri Expo is different in that, it brings together the Dairy and Poultry Farmers, the Crops farmers, the machinery and Advisory sectors together for a complete experience.” She noted
She applauded this year’s Agri Expo event naming it a success as compared to the previous event.
Speaking at the event, the Kakamega County Agriculture Chief Officer Jeremiah Namunyu applauded the stakeholders for supporting farmers and urged them to work together in realizing growth in the Agricultural sector. “As stakeholders, we really help the farmers but as individuals and therefore there is need for all of us to work together towards a common goal, “He said adding that the county is committed to diversifying production through many initiatives including the one-cow initiative, provision of subsidized farm inputs, building a dairy plant, boosting fish farming, building a tea factory and a maize milling plant”.
The Vice-Chancellor, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology Prof Fredrick Otieno, said 80 Percent of the people in Western Region depend on agriculture to feed their families and the university commits to support them realize food efficiency and produce enough food to serve the society. “80% of the people here depend on Agriculture and this event is very important and useful in terms of learning new techniques to help in the production of enough food for the masses thus eradication of poverty,” He said
Paul Ashiachi, Member of County Assembly Musanda Ward and the Deputy Chairperson for the parliamentary Agriculture Committee urged farmers to embrace growing other crops apart from sugarcane for high food productivity. He also urged the event organizers to extend the exhibitions to the sub-counties for the information to reach the farmers who could not make it to the event. “Let’s work extra hard in this sector by applying the techniques learnt in this exhibition for our people to have enough food.” He noted
The manager, Kenya Seed Company, Abraham Mukhobi pointed out how unfortunate it is that Kakamega county residents consume food from neighbouring counties when there is enough machineries to produce enough food for consumption and for sale. He urged farmers to stop being lazy and get involved in agricultural activities to eradicate poverty.
The companies that participate in the Expo were Davis and Shirtliff Limited, M-Kopa Solar Limited, Pannar Seed Limited, Kenya Seed Company Ltd,Western Seed Company Limited,Equity Bank Limited, Bayer East Africa Limited, Agri Seed Co Limited, Elgon Kenya Limited, Unga Farm Care, Juanco Kenya Limited, Baraka Fertilizer, Murphy Chemicals Limited, Yara Fertilizer East Africa Ltd ,West Kenya Sugar Company Limited , Ultravetis East Africa Limited , Kenya Agriculture & Livestock Research Organisation , Amiran Kenya, Kenya Plant Health Inspection Services and Sunny Irrigation.