County Executive Member for Agriculture, livestock, irrigation and Fisheries Mr. Gilchrist Okuom addressing the people during World Food Day celebrations in Nyalenda
Farmers and residents of Kisumu County today converged at the united Destiny Shapers in Nyalenda to celebrate the World food day.
The event marked annually every 16th October is themed “Grow, Nourish, Sustain Together” focusing on areas that require action and offering a common objective.
The ceremony which was organised into the farmers field day saw various farmers showcase assortment of locally produced foods, innovative farming technologies recommended for the urban and peri urban farming and value addition on different products for local markets and for exports.
The nutrition sector was not left behind as they sensitized the people on the importance of consuming a balanced diet for nourishment and that it is crucial in the reduction of triple burden of malnutrition which causes obesity, cancer, diabetes among other problems in expectant mothers.
While presiding over the event, the CEC Member for Agriculture, Livestock, Irrigation and Fisheries Mr. Gilchrist Okuom challenged the farmers to upscale from subsistence farming to agri business which is sustainable through value addition.
He urged everyone to get to production to ensure they eat quality food which is nutritious and nourishing to help eliminate diseases caused by malnutrition.
The County Executive called on youths and women farmers to access available funding opportunities to expand their production.
He thanked the partners for their continued support to ensure Kisumu is food secure. IFAD has supported the fish sector through aquaculture business development Program which focuses on increasing food security and income among the poor through value addition while FAO Kenya is currently capacity building farmers on agri business as they target youths and women groups in Kisumu West, East, Central and Nyando sub counties.
The Deputy County Commissioner, Mr. Christopher Siele applauded the women and the youths for the good initiatives showcased and called on participants of the day not to pay lip service to food production but take it seriously since it pays.
He added that failure to invest in farming has a multiplier effect which spirals to the whole country making us net importers.
The Deputy commissioner also advised that irrigation farming is the way to go since the rains are quite unreliable. He thanked the partners who have supported in the reduction of surface run offs which is a challenge in farming in the region.
Eng. Charles Kalomba one of the guests called on the county to pick at least five key innovations exhibited , patent and protect them then scale up the production.He also urged the farmers to think agribusiness.
The Chief Officer crops, Dr Paul Omanga stated that without food we are food insecure hence we need to upscale the production of traditional leafy vegetables which boost immune system thereby reducing the chances of being overwhelmed by diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Corona Virus.
On her part the Chief Officer Livestock and Fisheries Madam Rosemary Raluoch encouraged farmers to produce nutritious foods for a healthy living. She also reminded the farmers over a helpline that they need to call the number 0800720696 whenever they counter challenges in farming for a solution to be reached.
The event was also attended by the area Ward administrator Dorothy Okumu, Area Chief, Senior Chief West Kolwa Mr. Kabisaye, the Partners, extension officers Pamela Akech and Monica Rombe, County officials from departments of Agriculture and Health, CBOs, among other invited guests.
By: Emily Mikwa