Fifteen thousand farmers from Laikipia East in Laikipia County have benefited from high yield maize seeds from Bayer and Global and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), under the “Better Farms, Better Lives” initiative. The 30 tonnes of seed will be distributed by Laikipia County extension officers from the Department of Agriculture.
In this partnership, Bayer Global and AGRA will provide the high yield seeds; the County Department of Agriculture will distribute the seeds and offer extension services to farmers, and Cereal Growers Sacco (CGA) will offer timely advisories to farmers through bulk messages.
John Kanyingi, the Kenya Territory manager, explained that in every two kilograms of Bayer Seeds, the expected yields are eight to ten bags per acre – saying the hybrid seeds are designed to support smallholder farmers to increase yield and farmer’s income.
Speaking while flagging off the consignment, Laikipia Deputy Governor John Mwaniki tasked the Department of Agriculture with crafting means to track and assess seeds sold to farmers by local agrovets to guarantee genuine seeds.
“We also urge our farmers to embrace smart farming and new farming technology to maximize their yields. For instance, if you harvest 10 bags from an acre, and sell at Kshs. 2500, that translates to Kshs. 25,000 compared with normal seeds with a yield of 4-6 bags per acre,” said the Deputy Governor.
The County Assembly’s Agriculture Committee Chai Simon Kanyutu welcomed the partnership saying it was timely for farmers especially with the economic strains caused by COVID-19.
Laikipia West farmers will receive their seeds in two months time after they harvest the current maize in their farms. According to the Chief Officer Agriculture Mr Mugere, farmers from Laikipia East got their seeds because their planting season starts this October.