A manufacturing firm has entered into partnership with farmers in Tharaka-Nithi County to increase supply of soya beans and sunflower seeds.

Bidco Africa Oil Refineries has partnered with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in the Conservation Agriculture initiative to encourage farmers to take up growing of the two crops.

County FAO programmes manager Ambrose Ng’etich said Bidco will pay the over 1000 farmers after delivering their produce.

Mr Ng’etich spoke on Tuesday during a workshop with farmers in Maara Sub County.

“This is a win-win partnership that will drive sales up for small scale farmers who are currently engaged in subsistence farming,” said Mr Ng’etich.

He said more than 800 acres of land in Maara and Chuka/Igambangombe sub counties will be put under the crops.

Mr Ng’etich noted that there is need for government and nongovernment organisations in arid and semi-arid areas to help the farmers in identifying crops that can do well and help them earn income.

“There are a lot of climatic changes and if we keep on growing crops that require a lot of rainfall the locals will remain poor,” he said.

Tharaka-Nithi Director of Agriculture David Mululu said his department will ensure that farmers are guided on the best farming method to ensure that they get good returns.

“We want to work with the farmers to ensure that they have a bumper and healthy produce,” said Mr Mululu.

He added that the county in collaboration with other agricultural stakeholders is looking for market for green grams, sorghum and millet.

“We believe that this engagement will reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of the people,” he said.

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Bidco Africa Ltd has manufacturing units in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and a footprint in 16 African countries where it sells its products.

SOURCE: Daily Nation

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