News Categories: Agriculture

18 Dec
By: NGPU 0

County Partners with Tomita technologies to boost Strawberry production

Nakuru County has about 5 hectares underproduction of strawberries valued at Ksh 1.3 million.

To boost its production, the County in partnership with Tomita Technologies is piloting an automated strawberry hydroponics greenhouse with a new Japanese variety which is fast maturing, bigger in size and has more weight than the local variety, which is smaller and weighs less.

Agriculture CECM, Dr. Immaculate Maina, in an interview, said that with active crop diversification in the county, strawberries are a crop that would benefit farmers by bridging the production gap through increasing production for the local and international markets.

She added that, through the hydroponics systems, farmers could have increased production and added value for the production of other crops by using non-soil medium free from diseases.

The hydroponics system that uses the cockpit as a soil medium, which is good in aeration, is also an automated irrigation and fertigation system that costs about Ksh 1.6 million for a 100 square meter raising about 500 strawberry seedlings.

Tomita Hiroaki, President of Tomita technologies, said that the tech introduced was easy to control, expandable, less laborious and less of diseases compared to soil farming.

He was speaking at the strawberry farmers day that attracted about 200 farmers and was held at the Agricultural Training Center (ATC).

He added that, with the new variety of Japan strawberry, farmers would have sweeter, larger, softer fruits expected to give a yield 4 times than that of Japan and utilizes the biological pest control systems.

Dr. Maina added that the tech was suitable to farmers with small pieces of land and the new variety increases the diversity of the strawberry crop. In addition to that, she said the County is working with KEPHIS to ensure they meet the phytosanitary standards.

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13 Dec
By: NGPU 0

More than 50% of Nakuru County residents consume street foods

By Leleti Jassor

Consequently, there has been an increase in the morbidity of consumers of street foods and street food vendors are thought to be the source if not the cause of an increase in foodborne diseases.

As a result, Nakuru County is in the process of establishing and maintaining a rational, integrated farm-to-fork food safety system that harmonizes interagency efforts to ensure the protection of public safety.

CECM Agriculture, Dr. Immaculate Maina, said that, in developing relevant policy frameworks to ensure food safety, only then will the public especially farmers, transporters and all food handlers adhere to safe food production and handling practices to reduce the burden of foodborne disease in the county.

Dr. Maina was speaking during a three-day food safety workshop with the Food Safety Coordination Committee and the Nakuru County Agriculture Committee Members.

AgriFi Programme Manager, Godfrey Nyang’ori, noted that most of the focus in the past has been on export but not on the local market, therefore, the need for policy frameworks to be able to deliver the full mandate on issues good safety.

In addition to food safety, Mr. Nyang’ori said that Nakuru County will receive an additional 2 million Euros in support of the Agricultural Technical Vocatiocational Training (ATVET) at the Agricultural Training Center (ATC) key for the training of farmers especially the youth and women.

Dr. Maina concluded that the policy frameworks could be used to influence courses to suit farmers and the county would look into opportunities of sponsoring students in Nakuru County under the food safety programs.

Henning Hoy Nygaard, Sector Counsellor- Food, of the Royal Danish Embassy, said that, in spearheading food safety, the county would be expected to tighten the regulatory systems within their mandate to ensure food safety and ensure inclusion.

The AgriFI Food Safety is a 5-year program born out of a delegated cooperation arrangement between EU and the Royal Danish Embassy with Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust (MESPT) as an implementing partner in support of food safety through an investment of about 5 million euros.

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