Embrace climate-smart practices, Ruto tells farmers

Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi (second right) awards one of the winners at the Eldoret ASK Show on Friday. The show was used to promote climate smart technology.

President William Ruto on Friday asked farmers to embrace climate-smart farming practices so that they can continue to produce food despite the unfolding effects of climate change.

He noted that climate change is currently the single biggest threat to the country’s food security situation, therefore, farmers must adopt new practices.

The President said that the frequent heavy rains and dry spells are some of the effects of climate change, which have made it difficult for farmers to produce adequate food.

“We experienced El Nino rains last year. These rains destroyed crops on farms and also increased post-harvest losses,” President Ruto said in a speech read on his behalf by the Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi at the Eldoret ASK Show.

To mitigate the effects of climate change, the President said the government is facilitating farmers to embrace new technologies and practices.

These include through provision of maize dryers and milk cooling equipment to stem post-harvest losses as well as the offering of resilient planting materials.

He further noted that the government has over the past months provided to farmers subsidised fertiliser to boost productivity, and, therefore, this season would not be different as farmers would also receive the fertiliser on time.

Some 5.95 million bags of fertiliser were issued in 2023 to 995,000 farmers across the country.
“Agriculture has a high multiplier effect, that is why the government is investing in the sector to boost economic growth and create jobs,” he said.

During the 2023 season, the President said the country harvested over 60 million bags of maize, with the area under the crop increasing to 2.88 million hectares.

Provision of subsidised fertiliser, coupled with good rains, he noted, made the country’s food security situation stable, with prices of various produce going down.

“A 2kg packet of maize floor is currently going at Sh130, a decline from Sh240 at the same time last year. These prices would further decline in the coming months,” he said.

Mr Linturi asked dairy farmers to prepare for a new milk pricing regime, where they will be paid for quality and not quantity.

He further said the government would push for farmers to be paid in kilos to stop their exploitation.

The theme of the show, which ends on Saturday, was “Promoting climate-smart agriculture and trade initiatives for sustainable economic growth”.

Over 150 exhibitors participated in the show that was attended by thousands.

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