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Science and Agriculture

Nakuru County stocks dams with fingerlings

The fish projects are being managed by local women and youth groups as a way of improving communities’ economic and nutritional status.

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Tilapia fingerlings . Photo/Courtesy

More than 20,000 tilapia fingerlings were introduced in several dams in Njoro sub-county over the weekend in a partnership between the county and national government.

The County Government of Nakuru has embarked on a program to stock all permanent water bodies within the region with zone-specific fingerlings.

Eleven dams in Njoro, Molo, Gilgil, Subukia, Rongai, Kuresoi North and Kuresoi South sub-counties will be restocked with 10,000 fingerlings each.

Mugumo/Naishi dam, Belbur and Gathangi in Lare and Njoro wards are the latest beneficiaries. Mugumo/Naishi and Gathangi dams earlier in the year received 3,000 fingerlings each.

The Tilapia species can weigh up to 800 grams and lays after every 21 days ultimately increasing fish population.

The fish projects are being managed by local women and youth groups as a way of improving communities’ economic and nutritional status.

Njoro sub-County Fisheries Officer Mr Erick Kiprop urged committee members to help protect the breeding areas.

“We encourage continuous monitoring and evaluation of the dams for safety and productivity,” he advised.

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Science and Agriculture

County, Hello Tractors partner to boost farming in Nakuru

The company also helps smallscale farmers connect with the tractor owners through a digital platform.

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The Hello Tractor App

The County Government of Nakuru 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.

The Hello Tractor is an agricultural technology company that also uses a mobile platform to help tractor owners manage their equipment.

The technology allows farmers to hail the machines through an app that also monitors the vehicles’ movements and transmits usage information such as fuel levels.

The Hello Tractors technology is currently being tested on around 400 tractors in both Kenya and Ghana.

The company also helps smallscale farmers connect with the tractor owners through a digital platform.

Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Dr Immaculate Maina said the technology would increase efficiency.

“The technology will also save time and improved the quality of produce,” she said during the launch at KARLO Njoro.

The Ministre added that smallholder farmers will be offered access to mechanized farming at a convenient and affordable cost.

She encouraged tractor owners to download the app and register to support farm mechanization services.

Hello Tractor CEO and Founder Mr Jehiel Oliver said the partnership will also ensure farmers get affordable and timely tractor services.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, 60 per cent of crops are ploughed by hand, which in turn impacts the productivity of their farms and the eventual crop yield.

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Nakuru

Sh20 million Banita livestock market to be opened next month

The 2020 auction was cancelled due to COVID-19 Pandemic threat but was reopened on Saturday ahead of the commissioning.

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Governor Lee Kinyanjui laying the foundation stone on February 27, 2019. Photo/CGN

The Sh20 million modern livestock market at Banita in Soin, Rongai sub-County is ready for an official opening in the coming days.

Governor Lee Kinyanjui laid the foundation stone on February 27, 2019.

Once complete, the facility will have an office block, pavilion, animal paddocks, washrooms and sheds.

Nakuru County Trade minister Raymond Komen said the market is in the last phase of completion and will boost livestock farming and trade in the region.

The inaugural Banita Easter Goat Auction, conducted in April 2018, fetched farmers Sh6 million in a record 37 minutes.

A mature goat or sheep was retailing at Sh10,000, up from Sh4,000 in other market days and elsewhere.

The 2019 auction was cancelled due to an outbreak of anthrax and foot and mouth diseases in neighbouring counties.

The 2020 auction was cancelled due to COVID-19 Pandemic threat but was reopened on Saturday ahead of the commissioning.

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Science and Agriculture

County cushions farmers against post-harvest loses

Dr Maina said the County department of Agriculture is formulating policies to protect and promote the development of the dairy industry.

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Farmers package carrots at Mau Narok in Nakuru County on November 20, 2013. Photo/Courtesy

The County Government of Nakuru has promised to enforce the law to curb the exploitation of carrot growers by middlemen.

Dr Immaculate Maina, the County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, said most farmers of the crop were not tapping its maximum potential because they were not members of cooperatives.

Dr Maina, who spoke in Mau Narok when she visited Mau View Sacco Carrot farmers said that the county government was in talks with the national government and development partners to help farmers avoid post-harvest loses through the establishment of cold rooms and carrot value addition factories.

According to the CEC the members of the Sacco export 2,850 bags of carrots per week to neighbouring Uganda, adding that the devolved unit is committed to establishing a regional carrot export market that meets the needs of the East African Community.

Dr Maina also revealed that her department is negotiating with the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) to fast-track certification of Kihingo Milk plant to enable it to start packaging and marketing of dairy products in Njoro Sub-County.

She pointed out that processing of milk and value addition within the production points will greatly reduce losses incurred between farmers and processors.

The CEC observed this will go a long way in assisting the traceability and branding of the milk by a processor in the market.

Dr Maina said the County department of Agriculture is formulating policies to protect and promote the development of the dairy industry.

She further observed that that carrots farmed in the county had a huge unmet demand in Marikiti, and Kongowea markets in Nairobi and Mombasa respectively, and advised farmers to stick to export rules and regulations so as to penetrate regional and international markets.

The CEC affirmed that the county government is committed to saving farmers from poor markets by helping them harvest quality agricultural products.

“Farmers must ensure that only quality carrots are produced and marketed. Harvesting and export of immature crops negatively affect Kenya’s image in overseas markets.

Farmers willing to export their products should have valid licenses and be registered as exporters or else their produce will be impounded at border points,” Dr Maina observed.

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