Farmers in Nakuru County hope for bountiful returns following initiative by the Swedish government to provide environmentally friendly pesticides and faring technologies that will help promote safe farming practices to promote biodiversity.
Swedish Ambassador to Kenya, Caroline Vicini said that pyrethrum had a great future for the farmers hence the Swedish Government’s concern with the need to conserve biodiversity by eliminating the use of harmful chemicals and poisonous products in agriculture.
Vicini said ASDSP (Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme) had capacity-built lower-level farmers to adopt profit-making ventures for better returns while enhancing crop resilience, reducing post-harvest losses, and introducing climate-resistant plant varieties.
“ASDSP targeted Pyrethrum, fish and Cow milk production in Nakuru County, with 134 farmer groups having benefitted from capacity building in the creation of business plans and market linkages for profit,” she added.
Nakuru County Governor Susan Kihika, said she had noted the success stories that had seen the price of cow milk improve by 37pc following the purchase of cooling plants and adoption of effective production methods by the 7, 547 households, under the programme.
“Pyrethrum is a flagship project for our county and we expect to tap into its potential to create employment and wealth through the expansion of acreage under pyrethrum to 30, 000 acres. It also posted the highest profit margins at 81.93pc with farmers reaping Ksh 240 against a cost of Ksh 79 for a kilo of the produce,“ she said.
She emphasized that collaboration was a vital step towards connecting innovative techniques and advanced technologies in the agricultural domain, for a robust agricultural infrastructure.
“This partnership with Sweden marks a turning point in our pursuit of sustainable agriculture. Together, we will leverage cutting-edge research, implement smart farming practices, and empower our farmers with the knowledge and resources they need to thrive,” Kihika said.
ASDSP has equipped farmers with skills needed to adapt to a changing climate and evolving market demands.