Farmers are set to experience a reduction in crop production losses, following the launch of the Plant Clinics Programme that tailored to help small holder farmers with the opportunity to diagnose plant pests and diseases as well ways of management for improved crop productivity.
While he officially launched the Programme, Kisumu County Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Ochieng Owili noted that food security remains a priority for the County and Kenya at large.
He reiterated Kisumu Governor’s commitment to put all structures in place to ensure the situation of food insecurity is alleviated even as he urged the farmers and stakeholders to make use of the Clinics to get the right information concerning pests and diseases and best agricultural practices.
Dr. Owili also issued a directive to the County Department of Agriculture to put into place a Programme that will ensure proper information dissemination to all local farmers thus ensuring adequate access to necessary information.
The County Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation Gilchrist Okuom on his part, assured the partners that the County will address the issue on staff attrition by ensuring a smooth skills transfer. He however sent a special plea to the local agrovets not to sell expired or unnecessary pesticides to the farmers but instead allow them to buy the recommended products by the plant doctors.
The launch of the Programme will allow small holder farmers access valuable information, share experiences on various crop challenges as well as update themselves on modern technologies they can embrace to ensure increased crop production for improved livelihoods.
The farmers will also be able to access extension services at designated markets across the seven Sub-Counties using modern technologies thus ensuring timely management of crop pests and diseases, a key component in the reduction of crop production losses.
The Plant Clinics will be operational every month in the following centres: Nyamasaria market – 1st & 3rd Thursday of the month, Daraja Mbili market- 1st & 3rd Tuesday, Kombewa market -1st & 3rd Friday, Rabuor market – 1st & 3rd Wednesday, Ombeyi Market – 1st & 3rd Wednesday and Katito market – 1st & 3rd Thursday of the month.
The event was made possible by the Kisumu County Government through the Department of Agriculture with support from Self Help Africa and the Centre for Agriculture and Bio-Science International which was instrumental (CABI) in the training of the plant doctors.
By: Nancy Juma