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    5367353434 86c8172dae bBy George Munene

    According to an agriculture sector survey conducted by the Central Bank of Kenya, 60 per cent of farmers expect the volume of key food items to increase or remain the same during the next harvest following the introduction of government subsidised low-cost fertiliser in the market and favorable weather conditions.

    Over 60 percent of farmers also expect to increase the acreage dedicated to the production of kale, spinach, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, carrots, and beans this farming season owing to improved weather conditions, reduced input prices, and expected rains. 

    The area dedicated to the production of cabbages and maize is anticipated to increase or remain the same.

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    Majority of potato, kale, cabbage, beans, and wheat farmers expect agricultural output to either increase or remain the same on account of improved weather conditions and increased acreage per food crop.

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    Half of the sampled respondents anticipate market supply for October 2022 of tomatoes, onions, and carrots remaining stagnant while the other half predict prices will decrease.

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    However, the output for spinach, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and maize was expected to either decrease or remain the same in the next harvest.

    The price of potatoes (50kg bag) is predicted to increase by 50 per cent of farmers, with the other 50 per cent of the view that it will remain the same.

     

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    By George Munene

    Kisumu County has signed a Sh30 billion deal with UK investment firm United Green to revitalise agriculture in the lake region. 

    The project will focus on growing high-value crops for the export market to generate foreign exchange as well as servicing local consumers. 

    It will also add value to locally grown crops such 100,000 tons of locally produced rice; 100,000 bales of cotton to supply Kenya’s textile industry; edible oils such as sunflower, soybean, and cottonseed, and soybean by-products to support the livestock sector.

    According to Kisumu governor Anyang Nyongo, the project will reduce Kenya’s dependence on agriculture imports by approximately Sh24 billion annually, reducing the country’s trade deficit. 

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    This will be achieved by delivery of agrifintech services to rural communities, employing high productivity climate-smart farming and state-of-the-art agroindustry facilities, and opening up new offshore markets for farmers in the Lake Victoria basin region over the next five years.

    This investment will accelerate agriculture growth in the county and revive its waning cotton, fish, and dairy sub-sectors. 

    “Our farmers may be poor in assets but are not poor in intention and capability. What farmers really want is good farmgate prices for their produce,” the governor noted.

    The project he added comes at an opportune time as he seeks to revitalise the lake region’s agriculture sector over the next five years.

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    “My manifesto commits to putting more land under agriculture production in Nyando, Nyakach, Muhoroni, Kisumu East, Seme, and Kisumu East sub-counties,”

    The county boss assured farmers that plans are underway to revamp rice production as well as invest in horticulture and floriculture in Nyamthoe, Mbohavale, and Kano plains.

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    vlcsnap 2022 10 04 14h01m34s839

    By George Munene

    For poultry farmers suffering from severe parasite infestation, shampooing is an effective method to rid yourself of the menace that causes disease, drop in production, and death.

    According to Okuta Ngura, a poultry veterinarian and specialist for over 10 years the method is safe and effective for farmers given they adhere to a set of instructions.

    “I have used bird shampooing with success to get rid of external parasites such as poultry ticks, lice, mites, and fleas in several farms where there is a high infestation and spraying and dusting powders cannot get the job done,” explained Okuta.

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    Though there are many pesticides on the market for this, he's found Ectomin, an ectoparasiticide (a drug used to kill parasites that live on the body's surface) manufactured by Chinese agrochemical manufacturer King Quenson to have the best results.

    Given the correct dosage is given as outlined by the manufacturer and protective gear is worn when applying it, the drug is non-poisonous for both birds and humans.

    20 milliliters of the drug is diluted into 20 liters and this can be used to serve 50 birds. 

    The bird is submerged neck dip for five to 10 seconds. 

    Shampooing should be done on a sunny day to allow birds to dry off. 

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    The poultry coop should also be emptied and sprayed to avoid reoccurrence once the birds are housed.

    The drug's applicant should wear protective gear, i.e gloves, face masks, overalls, and gumboots. 

    Ectomin is sold for quantities of between 20 milliliters to 100 milliliters costing Sh200-Sh700.

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