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Kosgei: Don't partition land

30 July 2013, 12:04 Mwangi Karanja

Agriculture, livestock and fisheries cabinet secretary Felix Kosgey has warned against partitioning of land in the country saying that it threatens food security.

He said for the country to be food secure, agricultural land should be protected from the culture that he said has reduced immensely the size of the land thus affecting food production.

Citing Trans Nzoia County as exemplar, Kosgey lamented that the amount of maize being produced yearly in the County has gone down enormously over the years owing to the practice.

“We need to stop this habit because it hinders production of crops and if it persists, then we would be forced to depend on importation of food,” he said.

Koskei was speaking on Friday at Namandala Agriculture Development Cooperation (ADC) farm in Endebbes constituency, Trans Nzoia County, during the cooperation's field day where he launched the new high yield Hybrid Maize Seed ADC KH 600-23A that is resistant to draught and diseases, matures early and could yield more than 35 bags of maize per acre.

ADC produces more than 10 millions kilograms of maize seed that is passed to Kenya Seed Company (KSC) for distribution to farmers.

He lauded the initiative that was propelled by Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) saying that the new hybrid seed would contribute towards increased grain production since it can grow in most part of the country.

“This is a move forward and the government supports it as we want to have quality seeds not only for crops but also for animals as we gear towards a food secure nation. We will increase funding for research work so as to get more quality seeds,” he added.

Regarding the issue of fake seeds, the cabinet secretary reiterated that his ministry has put instruments in place that would ensure that its circulation is averted.

New seed packaging to curb counterfeits

He noted that the Kenya Seed Company has deployed measures including the introduction of new seed packets that he said would help curb counterfeits.

Lately, circulation of fake seeds has been on the increase with farmers counting loses due to poor harvest. Scores perpetuating the scam have been arrested, but their cases are still lagging in court.

Kosgey further pointed out that farmers will soon have insurance policy for their animals and crops so as to reduce risks associated with disasters such as floods and draught.

Kwanza MP Ferdinand Wanyonyi who also addressed farmers and exhibitors urged the government to improve on the distribution of farming inputs like fertilizer.

Government has failed Kenyan farmers

He attributed the slow growth in the agriculture sector to the laxity of the government alleging that it has failed Kenyan farmers.

“We usually lack fertilizer during planting and topdressing seasons and this has killed the spirit of farmers. Farmers need to have all farming inputs three months before planting season commences,” he said.

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