Farmers urged to grow cash crops
27 March 2012, 11:37
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Imenti south district farmers in Meru County have been urged to consider going back to coffee and cotton farming as their main incoming earning cash crops.
The remarks were made by the Area District Agricultural Officer, Mr. Joseph Mugambi during a farmers meeting at Kaguru where farmers had met to explore possibilities reviving the production of coffee and cotton in the area.
Mr. Mugambi regretted that most farmers had cut down their coffee trees to pave way for other crops most of which were seasonal and had no guarantee of not disappointing the farmer.
The agricultural officer noted that most of the traditional crops were less involving and were able to give good yields with very little cost on farm inputs compared to crops such as vegetables and fruits which compelled farmers to spend a lot of money on pesticides and other inputs.
He urged farmers in the lower areas of the district where cotton can do very well to embark on intensive cotton farming since there was a good and ready market for the commodity.
Mr. Mugambi was optimistic that cotton was likely to fetch more for the farmers considering that the government was committed to banning exported second hand clothes business so as to create room for local consumption of the locally produced cotton.
He pointed out that it was an unfortunate fact that some fabric industries in the country had closed down due to lack of the role materials after farmers sidelined key traditional farming activities.
The agricultural officer cautioned farmers in the district against overindulging in fast growing horticultural cops saying it was not a guarantee that they would earn more money from such crops.
‘Farmers should realize the prices of most of the horticultural products were for export hence making their prices seasonal depending on the destination county demand at a particular time of the year,’ Mr. Mugambi observed.
Mr. Mugambi challenged farmers in the lower areas of the district to plant cotton during the October-December rains saying not a single acre was on cotton currently.
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