Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui has urged farmers to form cooperative societies as the County revives and introduces crops of high economic potential.
The County has procured over 2.5 million pyrethrum planting materials for the farmers worth Sh9.8 Million from various nursery operators within the County.
Nakuru used to produce 60 per cent of the Country’s pyrethrum, with a potential of 12,000 metric tons prior to the year 2004.
Governor Kinyanjui said farmers in organized groups would help them access training, planting materials, credit facilities and market their products with ease.
“We will be educating our farmers on contract farming and link them to markets locally and broad,” the Governor stated.
He said the County will make good use of the agricultural extension officers to reach out to farmers. The County has partnered with Egerton University in research and training.
This comes at a time when the County is mulling at setting up public nurseries for the economically viable crops.
The County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Dr Immaculate Maina said the nurseries will propagate Pyrethrum, Avocado and Tea and other crops.
Dr Maina said her office is in talks with the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) for the nursery registration and certification.
“The County will soon be registering nurseries run by youth and women groups,” Dr Maina noted.
Dr Maina was optimistic that establishing the nurseries would cut down on costs while ensuring quality and maximizing on quantity.
The CECM urged locals to factor and make sure agricultural projects have a big share in the County Integrated Development Plans for budgeting purposes.
They were speaking during the distribution of pyrethrum and avocado seedlings for Njoro sub-County at Kihingo.
On avocado farming, the CECM said the venture presents a good opportunity for farmers, but more so for youths to venture into.
Avocados rank fourth most important national fruit crop and have grown to represent 17 per cent of Kenya’s total horticultural exports.
Kakuzi PLC General Manager- Horticulture Mr Paul Mbugua said the global avocado market is insatiable and urged farmers to embrace avocado farming.
Local avocado farmer Mr Peter Chege said his farm has over 300 trees but only less than 100 are yielding citing poor variety.
Dr Maina said the County is vouching for the Hass variety due to its demand and high global prices.
Deputy Governor Dr Erick Korir said the County under the Boresha Barabara program is keen on opening up rural roads in agricultural rich zones to enable farmers access markets.
The Deputy Governor warned agricultural extension officer of laxity at the time the County was keen on reviving agriculture in line with the Big 4 Agenda.