H.E. Governor Granton Samboja has awarded 240 farmers in Mbololo and Ngolia Wards, Voi Sub County with certificates for having completed a Farm Field School FFS programme.
This is a clear indication that the County Boss is aligned with his manifesto that promises boosted food security.
In his remarks, Governor Samboja congratulated the farmers requesting them to share knowledge learned with peers at the community level.
“ The FFS is practical and hands-on and I urge the farmers to practice peer to peer learning in a bid to help communities at the grassroots level, further receive innovative ways of farming. Knowledge acquired will be used to boost the people’s livelihoods and income. Through kitchen gardening, you can farm crops for your use and commercial purposes. Utilise the water projects brought to increase agricultural activities,” Governor advised.
He is expectant that a total of 6,000 farmers in these wards will benefit from extension services from these resource people trained.
Project Officer World Meteorological Organisation Grey Sebastian thanked stakeholders for their support to ensure climate resilience among smallholder farmers.
Dr Barrack Okoba Program Leader, Resilient Food and Livelihood, Food Agriculture Organisation FAO also noted how his organisation works closely with the County Government of Taita Taveta in ensuring Climate Resilient agriculture in various projects including KCEP-CRAL which advocates for green grams and sorghum farming.
Agricultural Climate Resilient Enhancement Initiative ACREI
Meanwhile, County Executive Committee Member CECM in charge of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation Davis Mwangoma asked farmers to hold training sessions for their colleagues and be good ambassadors for the project.
“ This is a project by Agricultural Climate Resilient Enhancement Initiative ACREI implemented by FAO and the County Government of Taita Taveta through the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation,” Hon Mwangoma reiterated.
He added that the groups conferred with the certificates had excelled in the areas of poultry management, kitchen gardening, green gram and sorghum farming.
“ They have learned practically on ways of soil and water management, composting and utilisation of manure for vegetable farming, crop husbandry on highly nutritious vegetables, “ the County Executive continued.
He reminded the Mbololo and Ngolia audience how the project localises the global Sustainable Development Goal SDG 2 which is about food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture.
The County Chief Officer CCO Livestock Amos Mwasi said that chickens bred match with the ecological conditions of the area.
He added that lessons were given on vaccination and managing poultry disease, poultry housing and best farm management practices.
Director Livestock Production Martin Luther Oyindo added that through the practical classes the fowls were able to have an increased growth rate and acquired weight of 2kg within a span of 4 months.
Meanwhile, the County Chief Officer CCO Agriculture Boniface Mwakio said that the farming of green grams is compatible with the environmental conditions where the FFS was conducted, as the cereal crop is renowned for being drought-tolerant.
“ From today’s event, we have witnessed various climate-smart practices, financial empowerment from banks, modern farming technologies from our esteemed partners. I reiterate my government’s commitment to continue supporting the agriculture department to ensure food and nutrition security,” Governor stated.
Voice of the people in value addition
Ginorah Mwazi a member of Mraru Farmer Field School said that she has learnt well and is now formulating balanced poultry feed ration for her own chicken to increase growth rate and egg production.
She has earned income by selling poultry and even linked other members of the group to a buyer.
She has been using maize germ omena and vitamins from leguminous plant sources to develop the ration .
Ndelima Muliwa a member of Mraru FFS also is doing value addition on Baobab tree as an income generation activity alternate to poultry to supplement on addition income.
She is adding value to Baobab fruits , packing and standardizing the product to ensure they are packed according to various weights.
The packed fruit are distributed to shops and local markets.
Strides in agriculture under Governor Samboja’s stewardship
While still addressing graduands, Governor stated that his administration prioritized agriculture as a key sub-sector as set out in his manifesto and the national government agenda.
Key flagship projects in the incumbent administration that still align with Governor Samboja’s manifesto include increased banana production and marketing, increased macadamia, avocado, mangoes and oranges production, increased production of drought-tolerant crops such as green grams, cassava, sorghum, increased production of Irish potatoes, groundnuts and other horticultural crops and improved water harvesting.
“ My government is also keen on improving the livestock sub-sector, milk production and marketing through subsidized Artificial Insemination AI services, supply of improved dairy cattle, support communities with improved indigenous chicken, support communities with modern beekeeping equipment, ranch improvement to enhance meat marketing among others,” the County Boss remarked.
He added that “ I am also working with the national government to ensure the livestock-processing zone in Bachuma is completed in good time to benefit ranchers within the county.”
He observed that the success of these projects have been achieved through his government’s efforts and collaborations with other stakeholders namely the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN), USAID (Feed the Future), The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) – ASDSP, EU, Danish Government (MeSPT), World Food Programme (WFP), World Bank, International Fund for Agriculture Development, Government of Netherlands (SNV), World Meteorological Organization, IGAD Climate Predication and Application Centre(ICPAC) and the National Government.
“ Sustainable Development Goal SDG 17 calls for enhancing the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the SDGs in all countries, in particular developing countries,” H.E. Governor Samboja concluded.
Agriculture is the mainstay of Taita Taveta County’s economy and contributes 38 % to the county GDP.
Besides, it’s also a source of employment, food security and nutrition to the citizens of the county.
Of the 97,600 households in the county, about 57,000 households depend on agriculture directly for livelihoods.
In Voi Sub-County alone 14,067 households depend on agriculture.
In attendance were Mbololo Ward MCA Godfrey Mwambi, Ngolia Ward MCA Jones Mghanga, Chief of Staff Rachel Dawai, County Executive Committee Member CECM in charge of Health Services John Mwangeka Mwakima, CECM Roads Gasper Kabaka, CECM Youths Vumi Ringo, CECM Devolution Laban Mwashighadi, Chief of Protocol Amos Mkari Saleh, Governor’s Adviser Gender Priscilla Mwangeka, Administrator Governor’s Office Loice Shali, Voi Sub County Administrator Jesper Kisombe, Chawia Ward Administrator Mercy Mwazo, Mbololo Ward Administrator Topister Lenjo, Ngolia Ward Administrator Mwanyumba Mbela among other senior County officials.
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