43,300 Hass avocado seedlings and 30,900 macadamia seedlings have been disbursed to farmers across Trans Nzoia County through the agriculture subsidy program for this planting season.
Speaking during the distribution exercise, Trans Nzoia Agriculture CEC Mary Nzomo said the seedlings will help the county boost its crop diversification initiative saying it will help farmers stop over-dependence on maize farming as the only source of income. “For many years our county has been branded the food basket of Kenya and our farmers have remained poorer, as a county we want our farmers to go to cash crops that will put money into their pockets and that’s why we are encouraging them to venture into other crops like Hass avocado and macadamia,” said Nzomo
The CEC said the county government through the department of Agriculture has set aside Kshs. 50 million in the 2021/2022 financial year for crop diversification and subsidy program Nzomo. The CEC added that besides the Hass avocado, the department has also procured other seedlings including Tissue culture Bananas, Coffee, and Tea. She urged farmers in the county to embrace crop diversification program so as to boost their income base.
She observed that farmers who have already embraced the crop diversification program since its inception in 2014 have started harvesting their crops and those who planted the Hass Avocado have started exporting them to the European market. Nzomo added that the Avocado market is now favorable observing that many farmers are harvesting up to 2000kgs of avocado earning millions compared to maize farming.
She said in partnership with the National government, the county government has received 20,000 coffee seedlings and 30,000 tea seedlings which have so far been distributed to farmers’ cooperative societies in the county. Macadamia has an added advantage to the farmers in that they can be planted with coffee as windbreakers according to the CEC.