Bungoma county government has implemented a new farm input system to ensure an increased food production this coming planting season.
Speaking to my aspirant my leader from his office on Friday, the county CECM in charge of agriculture Mr. Makanda Mathews Wanjala said that they were going to ensure that there is enough food consumption and an increase in food production.
In the new farm input system, Makanda said that the county resolved to give out fertilizer and planting seeds to 750 vulnerable families per ward.
He cited that the county had allocated Sh. 200 million to cater for fertilizers and seeds for vulnerable families which were picked through a public vetting process.
“My ministry was allocated a budget of Sh. 800 million this financial year, out of which Sh. 200 million has been allocated for farm input system whereby 750 families per ward will be receiving free fertilizer and seeds from the county,” Makanda said.
He added that the county will again issue out free fertilizer to the beneficiaries in May for top dressing.
The CECM further cited that the national government had released subsidized fertilizer to all National cereals and produce Board (NCPB) in Webuye, Kapsokwony and Bungoma.
He encouraged farmers to register with the county ministry of agriculture to benefit from the subsidized fertilizer that ranges from sh. 1500 to sh. 1800.
Furthermore, Mr. Makanda said that farmers who will not register with his ministry in time will be forced to buy fertilizer from agro dealers within the town, whose prices for fertilizer is currently at Sh. 3200.
He also noted that the county government is working on the plans of purchasing more tractors which will help plough for vulnerable families from each ward across the county.
“The county currently has 8 tractors, whereby one tractor can only plough a maximum of 10 acres in a day. In this case, only 50-100 people can benefit from the program since the 8 tractors cannot manage to plough across 45 wards within this short period of time. We will be soon purchasing more tractors that will benefit 45 wards across the county in the next planting season,” said Makanda.
Following last year’s army worms infestation, he encouraged farmers to buy the right chemicals from agro dealers and spray their crops at the right time to prevent last season’s harm.
He further cited that Bungoma County has a high milk production, currently at 259,000 litres per day that amounts to 97 million litres in a year, with farmers mostly selling to middle men.
He quoted that the county is planning to revive Kitinda Dairy which is in Bungoma town, and set up a milk processing plant which will improve the economy.
“We are doing well in terms of milk production whereby we are witnessing 259,000 litres of milk per day, amounting to 97 million litres in a year. We have 12 coolers which are fully in use at Kitinda Dairy,” he said.
Makanda added that the county currently is in plans of looking for investors to venture in milk sector, citing that the DP William Ruto had donated to them 5 coolers during his recent tour to Bungoma County.
“We are looking for investors as we plan to start our own milk processing plant. We have received five coolers from DP William Ruto, whereby we have installed one in Miuhu, Bokoli, Maeni and two in Mt Elgon,”
Speaking on coffee farming in the county, CECM Wanjala Makanda said that coffee production was gradually going down but the county plans to revive it.
He cited that the county will subsidize coffee seedlings which will help attract more farmers that are interested in coffee farming.
“We are going to subsidize coffee seedlings and encourage farmers to invest in the crop. We have several coffee milling factories across the county that is in Sirandafu village, Musese mills and chesikaki mills” Makanda said.
The agriculture CECM cited tomato processing plant in Kimilili and chicken slaughter house in Chwele as one of the county projects that are doing well.