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UASIN GISHU

Shift your hoes to coffee, fruit farming, Mandago tells maize farmers

Arap Kogo
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Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago addressing residents of Tapsagoi ward in Turbo on May 26, 2017. [Photo/Arap Kogo]

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago has asked maize farmers to shift their hoes to coffee and fruit farming. 

The Governor's call comes even as maize farming faces challenges each year, ranging from delay in payments, crop diseases and reports of imports penetrating into cereals board silos. 

Speaking as he attended a church service in Tapsagoi, Turbo Sub-County on Sunday, Mandago asked farmers to scale down acreage under maize.

"I would like to ask all of us to plant coffee and avocado, then these troubles of maize will not bother us anymore," said Mandago. 

Mandago, who was also flanked by his Deputy Daniel Chemno, practically took members of the public through calculations of yield and money that an acre of coffee can earn a farmer in a year. 

About 500 persons who had turned up for the church service expressed contentment through their faces, as some sitting next to each other went on with the calculations. 

Also, Mandago asked the public to try as much as possible to subdivide land for cultivation of cash crops. 

The County boss has led the way having put 40 acres of his land in Moiben (a region known only for maize farming) under potatoes and 5 under vegetable.

"An acre under coffee and another under avocado are all I need, the other you can plant maize for subsistence or for sale, as you wish."

The County boss has led the way having put 40 acres of his land in Moiben (a region known only for maize farming) under potatoes and 5 under vegetable.

Chemno had also earlier on sensitized on the importance of shifting to cash crop farming, citing macademia as a crop whose seed value is quite high.

He said fruit farming and overall crop diversification will ease parents' all-time burden of having to organize harambees for school fee each year. 

"If we want to alleviate poverty and turntables of household economy, we need to take diversification seriously," said Chemno.

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