Farmers from Kerio Valley in Elgeyo Marakwet earned Sh10.4 million from the sale of 250,800 kilogrammes of sorghum in the just-concluded harvesting season.

Farmers from Kerio Valley in Elgeyo Marakwet earned Sh10.4 million from the sale of 250,800 kilogrammes of sorghum in the just-concluded harvesting season.

According to Governor Wisley Rotich, the farmers planted 700 acres under contract farming with the East African Breweries.

Speaking at Koindabilet Secondary School in Marakwet West Sub-County during Jamhuri Day celebrations, the governor said that farmers earned a further Sh5 million from the sale of 1.7 tonnes of pyrethrum to Kentegra Pyrethrum Company.

Rotich noted that the company had reviewed the price of flowers from Sh260 to Sh290, thus translating to better returns for farmers, adding that more farmers were waiting for seeds from the company, which will see the acreage under pyrethrum, which currently stands at 633 acres’ increase.

He therefore urged farmers from the traditional pyrethrum-growing zones of Metkei, Kapsowar, Lelan, and Kapyego, among others, to embrace the crop now that there was a ready market and better prices.

The governor said a total of 133,000 bags of fertiliser have been sold to farmers for use in the coming planting season under the last mile programme after his government managed to talk with the National Cereals and Produce Board to open more stores to ease the distribution of the same.

He regretted that fertiliser has been out of reach for many farmers due to high prices, adding that even after it was subsidised by the government, it was not easily accessible to farmers owing to distance and bureaucratic challenges.

The governor said while agriculture has remained the backbone of the economy for the past 60 years, lack of adoption of new farming technology and poor application of fertilisers have led to poor harvests.

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He added that the NCPB will soon be installing dryers in some of the stores where farmers can dry their maize and prevent post-harvest losses.

He disclosed that the county had installed a cold storage facility for potato farmers in Kapchebel with a capacity to store 50 tonnes of potatoes for more than three months.

“This will reduce post-harvest losses and protect farmers from exploitation from middlemen, thus increasing their earnings,” he said.

By Alice Wanjiru || Kenya News

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