News Categories: Agriculture

23 Aug
By: NGPU 0

County Government launches mobile farmer school with Hello tractor

By Leleti jassor
The County Government in partnership with Hello Tractor has launched a mobile farmer school.

The farmer school will be used as a training facility to help farmers understand the benefits of mechanization in food production.

This will help increase efficiency by reducing drudgery as well as saving time and improving the quality of produce.

Speaking during the launch of the school at KALRO Njoro, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries CECM, Dr. Immaculate Maina, said the school will help farmers decipher the importance of mechanized food production to increase yield in addition to using certified seeds.

Hello Tractor is an agricultural technology company that uses mobile technology to help tractor owners manage their equipment and helps small farmers connect with these tractor owners through a digital market place.

According to Dr. Maina, the tracking tech of mobilizing tractors will ease farmers’ connections to agricultural machinery and aggregation services as well as give younger farmers opportunities for better farm management where less drudgery exists.

She encouraged tractor owners to register with the County and Hello tractor and download the app to support mechanization services.

At the same time, tractor owners were urged to use the Agricultural Mechanization Service Center (AMS) for their mechanization queries and the Farmers’ Call Center to receive free extension services offered.

CEO and Founder of Hello Tractor, Mr. Jehiel Oliver, said the mobile farmer school educates farmers on best practices and invests on farming communities.

Through the partnership, they have been upscaling to ensue farmers get affordable and timely tractor services to boost their productivity and income.

Over and above that, he added that the tracking tech helps tractor owners remotely manage their tractor hiring businesses which are then linked to organized farmers.

This is aimed at increasing the availability of tractor services to farmers which will increase food production and encourage more investors in agricultural mechanization and agribusiness.

Center Director, KALRO Njoro, Dr. Godwin Macharia, acknowledged that mechanization is key for the achievement of food security in the County and the tracking tech will bring orderliness in the mechanization sector.

With challenges including; quality and maintenance of tractors, unskilled labor, increase in emerging weeds spreading through the country; facing the sector, the County aims to introduce short term training course for tractor drivers for them to be tractor operators

In addition to that, offer training on other management practices to ensure proper maintenance of machinery within the County.

So far 12 tractor owners including some machinery from the County are agents registered under the Hello Tractor platform locating farmers through their IoT.

The County has also supported mechanization through the issuing of equipment to the Inua Hustler group in Elementaita Ward as well as procuring farm inputs used for training at the AMS.

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26 Jun
By: NGPU 0

County deepens digitisation of agri-business amid Covid-19

By Jeremy Ogola
The County Government of Nakuru has used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to deepen the digitization of its agri-business value chains to transform the business and agricultural sector.

This comes after the county partnered with Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) to roll out a digital concept dubbed Smart Market, which works diligently to help farmers and traders deliver cost-effective leads and sales for their clients while building well recognized and trusted brands.

Once implemented the concept will also help leverage on food quality, safety risks and traceability of production losses.

It will also help to compliment the market Information systems, limited preparedness for health-related emergencies, defects in current market construction and renovations.

Trade, Tourism and Cooperative CECM Mr. Raymond Komen said the idea has come in at the right moment as it will facilitate linkages between value chain actors at much-reduced transaction costs.

He noted that the system will help to decongest the city and facilitate expansion since the County does not have enough land to expand markets within the city.

To begin with, Mr. Komen said the concept will be implemented AT the top Market and Wakulima market in Nakuru town.

Mr. Komen who was speaking during the presentation of the Smart Market concept by the EAGC said the concept will also help to weed out unscrupulous middlemen who exploit small-scale farmers, as it will see farm produce sourced directly to the wholesale thereby maximizing profit for both the farmers and traders.

Agriculture CECM Dr. Immaculate Maina lauded the move saying the concept will move up the agribusiness value chain within the county, to a sector that is modernized, efficient, well-integrated, and can produce higher value-added goods for our local markets and add value along the value chain.

“We need to ensure that cost is not a barrier, that small-scale farmers can adopt and apply the smart market concept and that the content is relevant, localized and actionable,” said Dr. Immaculate.

Nakuru County’s natural endowments give it a comparative advantage in a number of high-value crops such as potatoes, beans, grains, cassava, fruits, and vegetables.

EAGC Executive director Mr. Gerald Masila thanked the county government for incorporating the Smart Market concept in the wake of regeneration of Nakuru County into the city status, saying the concept is expected to play a significant role in enhancing its agri-business activities to meet demand and supply.

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