The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KARLO) has embarked on training farmers in Embu and neighbouring counties on how to increase yields from the ongoing rains.
With a forecast from the weatherman indicating that the rains would be depressed, KARLO Director in charge of Embu, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Meru and Tharaka Nithi Counties Dr Alfred Micheni said it was important for farmers to be informed on the right varieties of seeds to plant.
“In light of the anticipated poor rainfall performance, it is essential for farmers to be trained on how to grow the right crop varieties to realize high crop yields,” Dr Micheni said while urging farmers to go for certified seeds to get value for their investment.
Speaking at KARLO offices in Embu town Friday, Dr Micheni said they had organized a two-day farmer exhibition on March 21 and 22 where they would showcase various technologies and trends in farming from various institutions as well as avail varieties of certified seeds to farmers at a discounted rate.
He said besides planting the right seed varieties, farmers should also plant early so that the crops will have reached maturity by the time the rains ceased.
Researcher Extension Linking Officer Catherine Muriithi said they would also focus on training farmers on new farming technologies and management practices to help farmers achieve more in terms of productivity and income.
She said it was important for the farmers to adapt to climate change to mitigate crop failure through practices such as early land preparation, technologies of managing land and conservation agriculture.
“We actually have to change our way of doing things to be food secure now that we no longer get normal rains,” she said.
Researcher Murimi Kagete asked farmers to practice crop diversification as a viable option for building household food and nutrition security as well as boosting incomes.
He particularly asked farmers to incorporate traditional food crops such as sweet potatoes, cassava, yams, millet and sorghum that are drought resistant and have high nutritional value.