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Agriculture

500 FARMERS BENEFIT FROM FRUIT SEEDLINGS TO BOOST AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AND PROFITABILITY

Over 500 farmers drawn from Tulimani Ward in Mbooni on Friday received 4000  fruit seedlings (2000 Hass avocado and 2000 Apple mangoes). 

This initiative by the County Government of Makueni through the Department of Agriculture, Irrigation, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative Development is meant to enhance farmers’ income in 2 to 3 years when the seedlings are expected to mature. This will, in turn result in improved livelihoods.

The distribution exercise was graced by the Chief Officer Agriculture and Irrigation Daniel Ndolo, who was flanked by the area MCA and Majority Leader Hon. Kyalo Mumo, Sub County Administrator  Phyllis Kithome and a host of officers from various county departments and the National Government.

Makueni Coffee Farmers Gain Valuable Insights to Enhance Production and Profitability from Meru Educational Tour

A delegation of 32 coffee farmers from Makueni led by the County’s Director of Agriculture Mary Muteti on Tuesday concluded a two-day educational tour in Meru County. The tour to Mukarimu Farm, owned by Charles Mutwiri, a renowned coffee farmer in the country, provided valuable insights into best agricultural practices.

Key highlights of the educational tour include:

1. Proper Crop Establishment and Canopy Management: The emphasis on proper crop establishment and canopy management indicates a focus on optimizing the growth and health of coffee plants. This is crucial for maximizing yield and ensuring the long-term sustainability of coffee farming.

2. High-Quality Coffee Variety: The promotion of high-quality coffee variety underscores the importance of selecting and cultivating coffee plants that yield superior-quality beans. This can contribute to the production of premium coffee products, enhancing the market value of the local coffee.

3. Good Governance of Cooperatives: The mention of good governance in cooperatives suggests that the tour also addressed the organizational and managerial aspects of coffee farming. Efficient cooperative governance is essential for fair distribution of benefits, transparent decision-making, and overall success in the coffee industry.

The fact that the tour was sponsored by the County Government of Makueni demonstrates a commitment to the development of the local coffee sector. Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jr’s  administration’s efforts to revamp the Makueni coffee sector indicate a strategic approach to achieving maximum gains for coffee farmers in the region.

Prior initiatives, such as the disbursement of Sh. 4.7 Million worth of Cherry Fund in partnership with the New KPCU PLC , further highlights the commitment to supporting farmers in adopting modern and sustainable farming practices. This financial support aims to increase coffee yields and improve overall farming practices in the region.

The positive response from the farmers, expressing their commitment to implementing the practices they learned during the tour, indicates that the initiative was well-received. The farmers view the tour as an eye-opener to profitable and sustainable coffee farming, suggesting that they are motivated to apply the knowledge gained to enhance their own coffee production.

Governor Mutula Unveils Makueni Technical and Vocational College to Enhance Skills Development and Technology Transfer in Agriculture 

Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jr  together with County Director for Technical, Vocational Education and Training John Wamae on Tuesday unveiled the Makueni agriculture TVET  at ATC Kwa Kathoka, to  provide training services and facilities for enhancing agriculture

The first cohort of trainees has already reported and has started learning. They will be trained for a period of 6 months in both school and farm based training.Some of the approved courses are horticulture, Dairy, Poultry, Aquaculture and Apiculture.

Governor Mutula noted that his government  has developed  the Makueni ATC Bill, 2023, in order to establish the center as Semi-Autonomous Government Agency (SAGA), for efficient running of the institution.

The inauguration ceremony was also graced by Deputy Governor Lucy Mulili, Makueni County Assembly Majority Leader Kyalo Mumo, Agriculture Executive Joyce Mutua, Muvau-Kikumini MCA Elizabeth Kawembe, Bishop Emeritus  Joseph M. Kanuku of the Anglican Church of Kenya, Makueni Diocese.

60 Trainees Commence an Agricultural Training Program to Enhance their Employability

The first cohort of 60 trainees has reported at ATC Kwa Kathoka ready to commence a 6-month agricultural training program fully sponsored by the County Government of Makueni in partnership with Anglican Development Services Kenya (ADS- Kenya) and Micro Enterprises Support Programme Trust (MESPT).

The training initiative is geared towards creating economic opportunities and enhancing employability for youth and Women of productive age through green skills and capacity development along the horticulture, dairy and poultry value chains.

The trainees underwent orientation on Wednesday, an exercise which was presided over by Agriculture Executive Committee Member Joyce Mutua and flanked by her Education counterpart Elizabeth Muli. 

Soon, the Makueni Agriculture Training Centre at Kwa Kathoka will be an autonomous entity once the proposed bill is passed by the Assembly. The center will provide specialized and high-quality agricultural education, training, and related services, and will play a pivotal role in enhancing agricultural knowledge and skills among the community, potentially contributing to local agricultural development.

During the orientation exercise, Mutua announced that the school will be officially inaugurated next week on 14th November 2023 by Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jr alongside other senior officials from the National Government.

27,000 Farmers Benefit from Planting Seeds from Makueni County Government

Over 27,000 farmers from Makueni have benefitted from certified seeds distributed by the County Government of Makueni for planting during the October-December rain season 2023.Beneficiaries were drawn from 11 wards that had prioritized planting seeds during the budgeting process for the 2023/24 financial year.

The Wards include Thange, Ivingoni -Nzambani, Mtito -Andei, Makindu,Nguumo, Kasikeu, Mbitini, Muvau -Kikumini, Kako- Waia, Kalawa and Mbooni.The initiative received a boost from the Kenya Red Cross Society which donated seeds to vulnerable households in Kibwezi –East Sub-county.

The Seed varieties distributed were Green grams, Maize, Beans, Cowpeas and assorted fodder and pasture seeds. With onset of the rains, Agriculture Executive Joyce Mutua has called on farmers to plant different seed varieties in order to achieve food security at the household levels.


County Government, Residents Consult on the Makueni Agricultural Training Centre Bill

Hundreds of Makueni residents on Monday thronged to various designated venues across the county for public participation for the Makueni draft Agricultural Training Centre (ATC) Bill.

The purpose of the public participation is to gather input and feedback from residents in order to shape the legal framework for the establishment and operation of the ATC Centre. This ensures that the centre aligns with the needs and aspirations of the local community.

The Centre aims to provide specialized and high-quality agricultural education, training, and related services, and will play a pivotal role in enhancing agricultural knowledge and skills among the community, potentially contributing to local agricultural development.

The two-day exercise organized at the ward level aimed to involve as many community members as possible. This approach helps ensure that a diverse range of perspectives is taken into account.The consultation process is being spearheaded by top county officials led by the County Agriculture Executive Joyce Mutua.

PS Kello Lauds Makueni’s Exemplary Farmer Profiling Exercise

Permanent Secretary State Department for Crop Development Kello Harsama has lauded Makueni for its exemplary Farmer profiling exercise.
PS Kello noted that Makueni was among the counties which had made commendable strides in the exercise which is ongoing across the country, aimed at collecting and documenting data on farmers.
 
He praised Makueni on Tuesday when he visited a number of farmers in Utangwa, in a bid to assess the progress of the exercise, noting that similar initiative had aborted in some counties due to malpractice in the recruitment of the agri-prenures.
 
He stated, ” We said we visit the counties that are progressing well in the farmer profiling. Makueni has done very well while in other counties the exercise was stopped due to malpractice in recruiting the enumerators.”
 
The exercise will close on 8th, October 2023  and officials called on farmers to avail as accurate information as possible.
 
The PS was hosted by Makueni Deputy Governor Lucy Mulili, Agriculture Executive Joyce Mutua and other senior county officials.
 
Mulili thanked the National Government for the support they had rendered to the county government, highlighting successful recruitment of the agri-prenures and dispatching of Sh 4.7 Million worth of cherry fund to Makueni coffee farmers.