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Rice farmers rake in KES 2.9 billion

28 July 2015, 14:37 Joseph Njung'eh

Kirinyaga - Kirinyaga Governor, Joseph Ndathi has lauded efforts by the national government to establish a KES 23 million rice milling plant at the National Cereals and Produce Board in Sagana.

Ndathi said the opening of the rice mill will go a long way in supporting rice farming in Kirinyaga County.

In a media briefing Tuesday morning, the Governor said over the last 10 years, the rice sector has seen tremendous growth and supported thousands of farmers in the process.

He said in 2012, rice farmers managed to produce 40, 104 metric tonnes of rice valued at KES 2.2 billion with the production increasing in 2014 to 52 088 tonnes at a value of KES 2.9 billion.

Read Also: Government intensifies fight against fake seeds

Ndathi said his government with the support of the state department of agriculture is implementing a rice development strategy that will see rice production double in the existing land.

As part of this strategy, Ndathi said the County has received 15 combined harvesters and 18 farm tractors to introduce mechanized rice cultivation in the Mwea irrigation scheme.

Additionally, the County Department of Agriculture has been facilitated with 10 motorcycles to improve delivery of extension services to the 6,186 households that are directly involved in production of rice in Mwea.

He said in the past, rice growing was a property of the government and farmers were simply growers of the crop with very little returns.

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