Rice farmers have  been urged to embrace and adopt   emerging agricultural technologies  to reap economic  gains  from their labour.

Farmers in rice growing regions of the country have been encouraged  to shift to hybrid varieties and cut dependency of over recycled  seeds in order to attain food sufficiency

According to the Alliance for Science Executive Director Dr Sheila Ochugboju, the hybrid varieties have proven to be  early maturing, drought tolerant and disease resistant besides adoptable to various ecological zones.

Speaking  at Nderwa section of the vast Mwea Irrigation scheme  where  hybrid  pioneer farmers are located , the scientist assured the farmers as an Alliance  they were committed to coming up with ideal varieties which were not only early maturing but high yielding for maximum profits .

Ochugboju further cautioned farmers not to listen to propaganda which certain politicians were churning out  meant to persuade them (farmers), to reject GMOs  yet this science was  the answer to global food problem .

The scientist  from Nigeria where these technologies are being used   wondered how she could be used as a puppet of the West to mislead her own farmers.

Such new hybrids  rice  varieties  are AH 18003,AH 18004,AH 18007 and PWAN Gold plus whose yields are three times above the traditional  Mwea  pishori  whose aroma  makes it  the most preferred by consumers .

Jannet Wambui  a case of successful  rice farmers from the area who have since  adopted the  hybrid rice varieties .

The farmer who gave testimonies of success in attaining high yields at the shambas urged other farmers who were still doubting to visit them before they harvest the produce this week and see the difference .

The Alliance has partnered with the Integrated Community Organization for Sustainable Empowerment  and Education for Development (ICOSEED)  which works hand in hand with the farmers at the  grassroots level  for ease of adaptation of the technologies.

ICOSEED Chairman Mugo Makanga said  an acre of pishori variety produces only 20 bags of harvest the  hybrid rice  varieties can produce up 40 bags  which is double  where the overproduction covers the cost of seeds and inputs  leaving the farmer with a high profit margin.

Of the rice  cultivated in the country , Mwea produces about 75pc while  the national consumption demand is 720,000 metric tons per year against less than 100,000  tones local production hence the scientific  intervention by the Alliance , AATF and ICOSEED have embarked on to  close up the wide  gap.

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