14 farmer groups from potato-growing zones in Elgeyo Marakwet County have received solar-powered irrigation kits under the Agricultural Sector Development Support Program (ASDSP II). The program will see these farmer groups take part in pilot demo farms in potato seed multiplication across the county.
During the handing over, Agriculture & Irrigation Chief Officer Timothy Kiptum noted that the equipment will go a long way in ensuring that farmers get maximum yield all year round.”We have been experiencing erratic rains and this equipment will go a long way in ensuring farm produce gets sufficient even during the dry season,” he said. He added that the county has been championing farmer support programs especially during this period of covid 19 as part ofits efforts in economic recovery.
The program coordinator Jane Talam said the program will ensure that the county becomes self-reliant in producing certified potato seed. She noted that Elgeyo Marakwet is known to be the second-highest potato producer after Nyandarua in the Country .” We want to see Elgeyo Marakwet producing certified seeds for other regions so that they can source from us,” said Talam. The farmer groups are also being trained on the best management practice for potato seeds multiplication and supplied with various farm inputs.
ASDSP II is supporting three value chains namely potato, dairy and indigenous poultry. It is targeting to distribute 30,000 chicks with 15,000 chicks already distributed.