Avocado farming in Kisumu has received a boost after the County Director Crops, Mr. Sylvester Okech today presided over the dispatch of 2,600 Hass variety avocado seedlings from Maseno Farmers Training Center (FTC) to local farmers across the wards within the County.
The seedlings were issued through the support program from the USAID Kenya Crops and Dairy Marketing Systems (KCDMS) through an agency called RTI.
The Hass variety is considered suitable for the region due to its high returns in yields and it is also rich in oil.
Besides avocado, the organization is also offering support on banana, African leafy vegetables and the dairy value chains in Kisumu.
This is in line with the Governors manifesto on promoting horticulture value chain and introduction of diversification on agricultural produce within the County.
The seedling distribution was done according to the wards’ suitability in giving high yields: Koru Muhoroni Ward , 500 seedlings, North Kisumu Ward 400 seedlings, North Seme ward, 350 seedlings, Kisumu East Ward, Kajulu 350 seedlings, North West Kisumu Ward, West Kisumu ward, South East Nyakach , South West Nyakach and West Nyakach each received 200 seedlings.
The Sub county Agricultural Officers and the Agricultural Extension Officers have been tasked to sensitize the farmers on how to plant the seedlings in order to get good yields. For example the recommended spacing that should be 8m by 8m. They will also do monitoring and evaluations after the farmers have planted the seedlings.
The Director crop was flunked by Sub county crops officer form Kisumu West, Mr. Simon Obwolo and Sub county Agricultural Officer Kisumu West, Mr. Tobias Olwero.
County department of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock, and Fisheries in partnership with Council of Governors (CoG) and Association of Women in Agriculture (AWAK), yesterday organized a training for Kilimo Biashsra Women Group on the benefits of the use of biochar drum kiln to manage farm waste at Wathorego, in Kisumu East ward.
The recycling of farm wastes through production of the biochar is an initiative being propagated across Counties to empower the women both agriculturally and economically.
Biochar, also means charcoal made from the farm wastes such as maize cobs, beans straws, rice husks, twigs, maize stalks among other farm wastes.
The residues from the charcoal is also intended to be taken back to the soil with the an aim improving the soil nutrients for agriculture.
During the production of the biochar, the blue flame produced from the drum kiln can be tapped to produce bio gas for cooking.
The Sub County Administrator of Kisumu East, Mr. Peter Abiero on this occasion, embraced the move and pledged support towards the integrated approach to development.
The CEO Council of Governors, Jacqueline Mogeni while giving her remarks noted that devolution works, though it has its challenges, but the people at the grass-roots are now being empowered to engage in income generating businesses that they can pass on to their children and the coming generations
The County Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom, reiterated that wastes if used wisely can give a decent amount of return to the farm owners and can also help in reducing waste by proper utilization.
He thanked the partners for the innovation that will ensure farm wastes that are generated in very large amounts and in most cases left on the field, become a source of livelihood for the residents in the County.
Other facilitators present included Dries Roobroeck (AWAK), Judy Matu (AWAK), Jackline Migide, (CoG) and Robert Kiteme (CoG).
Governor, Professor Nyong’o and USAID Mission Director, Mark Meassick today presided over the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a joint commitment to Kenyan – led development in Kisumu County, at the Acacia Hotel in Kisumu.
The MOU reflects the shared vision on devolution among the two countries, focusing on meeting the needs of the people.
It provides a framework on how the County and USAID will transact business together including aligning activities, plans and budgets, designing new programs and priorities, monitoring and evaluating programs, working jointly to counter corruption and protect the beneficiaries.
The County Assembly Speaker, Hon. Elisha Oraro said the move will steer development across all sectors, hence enabling environment is key to any development. He promised to work on the required legislation to support the move going forward.
The Nyando Member of Parliament Jared Okello said the MOU is a vision that will steer the County to greater heights. He called for a concerted effort to find a seed variety that fits the soil in Ahero, and a rice milling plant in Nyando that will put an end the exploitation of farmers by brokers.
Speaking during the event, USAID Mission Director Mark Meassick said the MOU puts to an end the foreign aid and it transforms the trade relationships among the public, civil society and private sectors to generate opportunity for all Kenyans and to accelerate self-reliance.
“The United States Government is shifting the way we work. We want our programs to be co-created, co-implemented, and co-measured to address problems and solve them at the County level,” reiterated the Director.
He further explained that USAID will develop a five-year plan to resonate with the MOU, where resources will be channeled directly to the County government.
Kisumu Governor, Professor Nyong’o on his part lauded the move by the USAID, that will spur transformation both in the fields of agriculture and health where the needs of the people are paramount.
He reiterated that the MOU will provide opportunity and the ability to respond to the needs of the people through the established village councils who are mandated to deal with the maintenance of access road, monitoring sand harvesting activities that messes the environment, family healthcare and health preventive measures within the village.
Besides the MOU will provide ready markets locally and internationally for the local products, and it is against this back drop that the County plans to revive the growing of BT cotton and to do value addition to the Ahero rice to stop exploitation of local farmers by the middlemen.
Also, in attendance were the County Executive Committee Members(CECMs) for: Finance and Economic Planning Mr. George Okong’o, Agriculture Irrigation, livestock and fisheries, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom, Health and Sanitation, Professor Judith Attyang’, The County Legal advisor, Mr. Idris Omondi, City Manager Doris Ombara, Majority leader for County Assembly Hon. Kenneth Odhiambo, County Chief Officers, among other invited guests who also welcomed the initiative.
The county department of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries in partnership with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) organized a one day workshop for the Food Liaison Advisory Group (FLAG) Steering Committee at Vittoria Suites Hotel in Kisumu.
The objectives of the workshop were to come up with mission and vision of the FLAG, develop selection criteria for grantees, present revised work plan dates, validation and signing of commitment forms, establish grantees selection, and proposals/names of value chain actors to be visited.
The Chief Officer Livestock and Fisheries madam Rosemary Aluoch while giving her introductory remarks, stated that the food systems are a very complex issue that requires a collaborative and innovative approach. She reiterated the need to create value chains in terms of nutritious and safe food for the consumers.
Madam Aluoch was also optimistic that the rapid analysis of the food systems to be carried out will point out safety gaps that will be addressed since Kisumu is a unique county with 14 wards within urban and 21 other wards in the rural setup. She further urged the implementers of the project to have a transformative mindset and be innovative in engagement with consumers’ needs in order to achieve the objectives of the project.
The Chief Officer Cooperatives Mr. Oganga on his part called on the FLAG members to work as a team. He further advised that much as the team focuses on nutrition and safety aspects of the foods produced, it should also look at a business model that can sustain the project.
While officially opening the workshop, the Chief Officer Agriculture and Irrigation, Dr. Paul Omanga noted that the project has come at a time when Kisumu County is drawing a development plan for the next 100 years and that food system is key in the plan.
He, however, appealed to the residents of Kisumu to minimize the importation of food products and instead increase local production to meet the demands of the local consumers.
“Kisumu must be innovative in the production of local foods other than being chief importers. We, therefore, need to support our producers with innovative ways that can improve food systems in Kisumu.” Dr. Omanga said.
The meeting brought on board the FLAG Committee comprising of technocrats from relevant disciplines from the County, Institutions of higher learning, researchers from both governmental and non-governmental, FAO representatives Rebeccah Wanjiru, Winnie Yegon, local food processors and farmers within Kisumu.
By Emily Mikwa
8th November 2019 marked yet another great day in the history of Kisumu, as County witnessed the ground breaking ceremony of Ksh. 132 million Kisumu County Dairy Enterprise Development Center, launched in Muhoroni Sub-County
The objective of the project is to improve household incomes and nutrition by strengthening the dairy industry in Kisumu, thereby improving the living standards of the citizens and contributing to the local economic development.
The project is set to enhance job creation, revamp economic activities for actors in the dairy value chain, increase the number of improved dairy cows in the county and increase the incomes of dairy farm households.
The scope of the project includes; Construction of the Dairy Development Enterprise Center, Drilling of a borehole and water connection to dairy center, Capacity building of the dairy value chain actors, Improvement of local dairy herd through artificial insemination (A.I), marketing and promotion of dairy products.
” This project expected to be completed in a span of six months is jointly funded by the European Union at a tune of Ksh 110 million and the County Government of Kisumu at a tune of Ksh 22 million.” Gilchrist Okuom, County Minister of Agriculture.
According the CS Ministry of devolution and ASALs Hon. Eugene Wamalwa the project is set to boost milk production and reduce the 43M litre milk deficit in the County as well as create employment under the Big 4 Agenda.
Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o together with his Deputy Dr. Ochieng’ Owili joined Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, C.S for Devolution and ASAL and H.E Simon Mordue European Union Ambassador to Kenya at the ground breaking ceremony of the project Muhoroni Sub County.
Rice farmers in Ahero irrigation scheme can breathe a sigh of relief now that they are ready to take home a bumper harvest from the rice fields of block A.
This was manifested during the official launch of the harvest by the CEC Member Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries Mr Gilchrist Okuom on Friday.
Block A has a total acreage of 285 and the farmers from this block have garnered averagely 30 bags per acre an increase from the previous harvests where they have been getting 20 bags per acre.
This exercise comes after their crops were affected by the hailstorm which caused a major blow to the farmers rendering them unproductive.
In a bid to meet one of the big 4 agenda on food security, The County government partnered with the National Irrigation Authority formerly NIB, to bring back to production the farmers of bocks A, F and G.
The County government pumped in a total of 14million of which 1.5million covers the cost of bailing rice straws and 12.5million to cover the cost of rotavation, transplanting, weeding, fertilizers and harvesting.
The NIB wrote off 5 million loaned to the farmers for seeds, Operations and maintence (O&M) and allowed them back to production in the next crop 66 without upfront payment of O&M and also provided them with seeds.
Speaking to the farmers during the launch of the harvest, the County Director for Agriculture, Mr. Okech noted that inadequate water and hailstorm are challenges likely to reoccur hence insurance was key for sustainable production and that planting a variety that meets the needs of the local market was not optional.
The same sentiments were echoed by the NIB Ahero branch Manager, Mr Joel Tanui who stated that “We can’t afford to go back to what we faced recently” hence it was clear that insurance was the way to go. He also assured them of a ready market for the Basmati variety that would be bought by the lake Basin Development Authority.
He said that out of the 14 million invested in the production by the County government, a return of 56million is expected after the harvest, and that as NIB they plan to expand irrigation within the County to a tune of 150 million especially considering to change the mindset of farmers in Muhoroni to diversify crop production.
The County Minister for Agriculture on his part called on farmers to learn to do farming differently from what was done in the past. He emphasized the incorporation of three key issues namely: insuring their farms to mitigate unforeseen calamities, forming cooperatives that will give them bargaining power for funds allocation and mechanized farming to boost production and productivity.
Also present were the MCA Awasi Hon. Ngeta standing in for the area MCA, Hon. Vitalis Otura,the Sub county agricultural officer Mr. Arthur Hongo, Ward agricultural officer, Esther Onyango, and agricultural Officer from the County headquarters, Mr Domnic among other guests.
Find attached the Shortlisted candidates for the Various positions of Chief Officers and Directors in various directorates.
Click on the Link below to access the document
Embracing mechanized and commercial farming were the Key words emphasized by speakers during the farmers field day marked yesterday at Kano West Irrigation scheme in Kabonyo Kanyagwal ward, Kisumu County.
It was noted with concern that Kisumu County has not commercialized rice farming since they only do it for subsistence and that they have only stuck with the IR variety which has no demand in the market. This has been a setback from the competition from Tanzania and Pakistan’s rice which are of preferred varieties and affordable.
Farmers were advised to take up mechanized farming and innovative technologies that will reduce the production and milling cost, to enable them compete in the market.
The County Director for crops Mr Sylvester Oketch called on the farmers to practice market oriented production by producing varieties that are in demand in the market using the consortium approach in working with the stakeholders in the value chain
On his part Dr Omanga put the farmers to task to see to it that rice from Kisumu is produced to the right quality and quantities and that it is packed branded and sold to the local and international markets.
The area MCA Hon. Oiko Pete called upon the youths to engage in commercialized farming to boost their economic empowerment and livelihoods.
The Chairman agricultural committee in the County Assembly, Hon Vitalis Otura on his part said Kisumu has been producing 24 metric tons of rice and they want to scale it up to 30 metric tons by providing necessary support such as water supply and farm inputs to rice farmers.
The Ag Chief Officer for agriculture Mr. Alfred Ajulu said the department will put more money in farming with a purpose to manage water supply, introduce new varieties to be planted, extension services management, mechanization and pursuit of rice value chain. He also promised they would deal with challenges such as birds menace as a means of addressing food security for nutrition and commercial farming to improve the livelihood and downscale poverty levels as outlined in the Governor’s Manifesto.
The CEC Member for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries Hon. Gilchrist Okuom on his part echoed the sentiments of others speakers urging the farmers to plant rice for nutrition and commercial purposes. He affirmed that through bench marking, technology and best practices the farmers have made a great stride.
He further urged them to build strong cooperatives that will help them market their produce. However he condemned in the strongest term the burning of one of the tractors by the locals and also cautioned farmers who do not pay for mechanization services. “Guard religiously the little we have” he stated.
The stakeholders who were present included: Mr Paul Omondi the Ward Admin, Jica, NITA, magos farm, Seed co, ETG, Banking institutions, Agrichem Africa, Health chemicals, Cooperative Societies from Ahero, Kano and Bunyala among many others.
The Stakeholders from Counties within the greater Nyanza met to review and consolidate the existing veterinary laws at the Tom Mboya labour college on Tuesday this week.
The three day workshop was supported by the national government, Kenya Market Trusts (KMT), USAID and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
It brought on board local famers, private practitioners, traders, County officials and the state department from the Livestock section with a focus on reviewing the laws in accordance to the Constitution 2010, OIE guidelines on veterinary legislation and the current best practices in Kenya and Internationally.
Reviewing of the laws is expected to address: effective and efficient management of Veterinary services, Human resource for the services, ensuring high quality services, funding for the services, and increasing accessibility to the services.
Giving his introductory remarks during the workshop, the CEC Member for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Hon Gilchrist Okuom invited all participants to a fruitful deliberation that would revolutionize how we offer services legally within the sector.
On his part, Dr. Romano Kiome from ILRI who also represented the USAID, reiterated that the two organizations were proud to be part of the noble exercise, a right direction towards international service provision.” Think globally but act local” he said.
He further stated that government law is regulatory hence it improves service provision at both county and national level, therefore the participants were to ensure that the laws being reviewed facilitates business and emulate international best practices. However, he appealed to Counties to have qualified and competent human resource to do the work.
The Nyamira County CEC Member of agriculture Madam Peris Nyaboke Oroko who officially declared the workshop opened, said “we cannot meet objectives without a policy, with policy we have the right direction, guidelines and rules”. She also mentioned that public participation, transparency and accountability are key to policy issues and that its implementation require technocrats.
County department of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries in collaboration with Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO) held a stakeholder forum, in a bid to integrate actions for innovative food systems actions across rural urban community projects.
The workshop held at Acacia Hotel on Tuesday this week, brought on board different stakeholders from the line of agriculture, KCB, individual farmers and farming groups such as Seke, Osiepe Practical group, Mazingira institute, Bondo University among others.
The objectives of the forum was to bring together the stakeholders and create synergy, know the activities they are engaged in, stakeholders commitment, establishing a policy orientation for Kisumu County on food systems, the potential of establishing multi- stakeholder platform and the challenges faced by the stakeholders.
Speaking during the official opening of the forum CEC Member for Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock and Fisheries, Mr. Gilchrist Okuom reiterated that the deliberations of the forum were key in changing the County’s Narrative from being net importers to producers.
“A net importer may not determine the quality and safety of the food produced”. Borrowing from the South African word Ubuntu translated as I am because you are, “such dependability will help us put food on our tables and manage the wastes that come from it,” said the Minister.
He further outlined some of the available opportunities that producers can exploit such as good infrastructure like roads, the International airport, Kisumu being the LREB Secretariat, and the revival of the port that connects Kisumu to both local and international markets.
The County Minister however, pointed out the plight of the unemployed youths as one of the challenges that going forward through such programs, the County will be able to tap into their potentials. He also affirmed his unwavering support by drafting a strategy paper that will guide resource allocation for agricultural projects.
On his part, Dr. Barack Okoba from FAO emphasized that resilience in community food production is key, that is knowing the food produced , its quality and safety standards is paramount. He further stated that early warning systems, access to certified seeds, capacity building farmers from production to post production and support for regulations on food safety standards are vital in building resilience.
There were presenters from line ministries on integrated urban food systems who included: Ag. Chief Officer for agriculture, Mr. Alfred Ajulu, Monica Oyanga, Rebecca Wanjiru and the moderator Mr. Erick Ogadho.