Smallholder farmers in the county have been urged to adopt technology and mechanized agriculture to boost production and quality of their produce. Kenya Plant health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) Chairman Robin Achoki said the notion that mechaniZation is only for those in large-scale farming was misguided and a threat to Kenya’s food security. Speaking in Opoda Farm in Bondo, where ODM leader Raila Odinga had invited hundreds of farmers for a field day, Mr Achoki said technological advancements and innovations have helped small-scale farmers improve productivity.
“As Kephis, we play a big role in promoting agriculture and nutrition. We therefore recognise that use of technology is making agriculture more profitable,” he said. Achoki, accompanied by Kephis MD Esther Kimani, said the need to boost crop yields is a priority towards realisation of the Government’s Big 4 Agenda. “Some of the ways of achieving Big 4 agenda on food security include mechanised farming, irrigation, and use of quality seeds and appropriate fertilisers,” he said. Achoki said Kephis has enabled farmers get quality seeds with high nutritional value, tolerance to pests and diseases, and early maturing especially in light of the current unpredictable weather patterns. Dr Kimani said they had developed a seed sticker label as part of certification processes. “While at the agrovet shop, a farmer scratches the sticker on the packet and texts the code underneath to 1393,” she said.
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