By The COAST Newspaper Reporter
As the long rains are about to begin farmers are now being introduced into a new initiative that will help them retain large quantities of their farm produce a move to mitigate hunger during the dry spell.
Kilifi County government wants farmers to bring together their farm produce, store them in large quantities as they provide them with preservatives and pesticides to help stay for long.
County Executive Committee member for Agriculture and Livestock Luciana Sanzua says the move will enable farmers to have their farm produce stored in safe galas and for a long period as they solicit for better prices across the country.
Sanzua said most farmers produce large quantities of farm produce but they end up being wasted because there are no proper methods of storage.
“We are ever faced with hunger and starvation not because we are lazy but because we have very poor methods of storage of our farm produce” Sanzua said.
Addressing farmers at Matsangoni in Kilifi North over the weekend, the CeC said Kilifi County government has already set aside 600,000 million to help with various farm incentives as the long rains beings.
She said the money will be spent in buying maize seeds, fertilizer as well as ploughing, planting as well as harvesting for all farmers across the county at an affordable fee.
She however challenged farmers to engage modern methods of farming so as to get good yields saying the traditional methods of farming are no longer helpful.
“We have assembled 53 tractors across the county to help you plough your shamba, then you can as well use the same to plant and harvest your farmproduce” The CeC added.
She said these are among great plans that are underway to transform Kilifi County to an agricultural hub and kick out the perennial hunger that claim several lives every year adding that the Agriculture and Livestock budget for the next financial year will be 1 billion.
She said “Do not just engage in farming alone but go for poultry and dairy farming as well”
Meanwhile Kilifi North Member of Parliament Dr Owen Baya cautioned farmers from selling off their land to other people.
Baya wants locals to stop the business of land selling and engage in serious farming that will enable them sustain their lively hoods.
“How do you expect to become a farmer when you sell off you land every time the government allocates you land” Baya posed.
He said the squatter issue will never come to an end if locals won’t stop selling off their land.
He advised them to commercialize farming by enlarging their farming acreage and even plant different crops and not depend on maize alone.
“You must not just plant maize on one acre of land but increase the number of acres and plant Beans, Cow peaces, water melon and grounds. This will make you earn a lot of money and you will not go hungry even a single day” The legislator noted.
The first time legislator took issue with the government over the Galana Kulalo ranch saying Kilifi County will not let go that land as perceived by many.
He said the National government has not fully utilized the land while locals have nowhere to cultivate.
He castigated the government for taking locals for a ride in pretence that they will revive the irrigation scheme.
“You cannot play games with our land, we will take over that land and we subdivide to our people to start farming” the charged MP said.
He called on private tractors to come in and plough the land for locals at a small fee.
The MP had accompanied the CeC in the launch of farm mechanization activity held over the weekend at Matsaongoni in Kilifi County.