In a bid to urge farmers, traders and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector to access modern farming technologies, the County of Trans-Nzoia held an agricultural field day themed â€˜Innovative Agriculture for Developmentâ€™. The event was organized by County Governor Patrick Khaemba and saw attendance by the Cabinet Secretary from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Hon. Felix Koskei as the guest of honour as well Pradeep Paunrana, the Managing Director of ARM Cement, who produce Mavuno Fertilizer.
Speaking at the event Governor Patrick Khaemba noted, â€œAgriculture is the mainstay of majority of the people of the county. The County Government therefore recognizes the significant role the agriculture sector plays in meeting the national objective of employment creation, food security, poverty eradication, and industrial transformation which are necessary drivers for economic growth.â€
Trans-Nzoia is known as the bread basket of Kenya and has in the recent past witnessed a decline in production of agricultural produce with maize production reducing from 30 bags per acre to 15 bags per acre. Decline in soil fertility, mono culture, soil acidity and Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND) are some of the reasons attributed for the decline in maize production over the years.
While presiding over the event, Governor Khaemba affirmed that in the last financial year, The County had distributed close to thirty thousand 50 Kg- bags of Mavuno planting fertilizer and about twenty six thousand 50Kg- bags of Mavuno top dressing fertilizer to farmers across the County at a cost of Kshs30million. This was done through a partnership with ARM Cement- the producers of Mavuno Fertilizer.
He further indicated that The County would be seeking to invest an additional Kshs40million into the program for the new fiscal year and urged the national government to support the initiative by including Mavuno Fertilizer to the list of fertilizers subsidized by the National Government to meet the growing demand.
Addressing the County partnership initiative, ARM Cement CEO Pradeep Paunrana said â€œARM Cement has been working closely with agricultural experts, researchers and scientists, where they have been able to develop and improve their fertilizer formulations to attain balanced blends. In addition, the company has partner with several local and international organizations and institutions to carry out field demonstrations across the country aimed at helping the local farmer see the advantages of using the right fertilizer and farm inputs for his or her crops with improved agronomical practice. We as a company recognize this and are pleased to work closely with the government to ensure that all citizens have access to food supply.â€
Stakeholders in the agricultural sector were urged to work together and employ what they have learnt in enhancing technology in Agriculture for food security, income generation and employment creation.