Agriculture & Fisheries
Uasin Gishu is endowed with good land resources and varied agro-ecological potential. It is the bread basket for the country; producing over 4.5m bags of maize and about 1m bags of wheat. Agriculture supports over 80% of the rural population of Uasin Gishu County in terms of household income and food security. However, the full potential of the County‟s agricultural production has not been realized.
The declining soil fertility due to continuous tilling of the same land coupled with overuse of fertilizers and chemicals are among the key factors leading to low crop production in the County.
The increasing land fragmentation with the resultant decreased land sizes is yet another factor negatively impacting crop production. The above two factors combined, comprise the most potent threat to increased food production in the County.
The cost of production is high due to high input cost especially seeds, fertilizer, pesticide, and farm machinery, low level of mechanization, and high transport cost due to increased global fuel prices. This impacts negatively on overall productivity. Production of the main food crops maize, wheat and potatoes has generally been below the County‟s potential.
Cooperative’s and Farmers
Cooperatives and farmers organizations are vital for good performance of the agricultural sector. They play a key role in agricultural marketing such as providing credit and supplying inputs particularly to small scale farmers. Poor governance and corruption has led most such institutions to collapse or be ineffective.
Farmers do not access accurate and relevant agricultural market information on time and this result in exploitation and losses.
The mandate of the fisheries sub-sector is to facilitate the exploration, exploitation, utilization, management, development and conservation of fisheries resources. The role of the Uasin Gishu Fisheries Office is to facilitate the development of vibrant aquaculture enterprises in the County. The Office is also responsible for quality and safety of fish and fish products, licensing of fish traders and promotion of sustainable management and utilization of the fisheries resources. However, it does not have a Fish Inspector to ensure the safety and quality of fish and fish products. The Inspector will inspect handling premises, surveillance and enforcement of the rules dealing with production, processing and trade.
Fish production in the County has improved significantly in the recent past due to increasing demand of white meat. Currently, the County has 1,728 operational fish ponds of 486,900m2 with annual fish production of 593,000kg worth KShs.285,900,000. The County also has many public and private dams which are suitable for capture fisheries. Current production from the dams stands at 33,048 kg worth KShs.9,914,400 per year.