The County Government of Uasin Gishu has announced a village-to-village campaign on diversification.
The County, in the latest announcement, says it will be carrying out sensitization programs in the villages and donating avocado, coffee and macadamia seedlings.
Over the past few years, maize farming, a decades-long practice for farmers in Uasin Gishu, has proved unprofitable with prices of produce and delays in inputs supply frustrating planters.
But the Governor Jackson Mandago-led County has a remedy to farmers; practice diversification by growing avocado, coffee and macadamia in portions of land.
Through its Department of Agriculture and motivated by uptakes, the County is currently distributing the seedlings under its diversification gospel.
Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno says the donation of avocado seedlings will continue and county officers will be visiting farmers at their homes.
We want everyone to practise diversification, its our way to wealth. Very prominent persons in Kenya are already growing, this tells us there is life in it.”
And speaking as he led avocado seedlings donations in Tembelio Ward, Chemno said: “We are getting you the seedlings because we would love all of us to join in the cultivation of such high-value crops.”
Chemno adds that Kenya has an upper hand over the rest of the world. “Our advantage is that Europe and Asia do not grow avocadoes as much because of their climates but their demand is very high.”
Our aim is to grow as much as possible so we can have better muscle to export directly in coming years although there are companies already buying the fruit here in Kenya,” adds Chemno.
Chief Officer for Agriculture Mr Julius Rotich said farmers relish decades of yield with an avocado tree.
“An avocado tree yields for up to 80 years, you can imagine eight decades of minimal supervision and money in plenty,” said Rotich.
Rotich sought to sensitize: “Avocado maturing seasons interchange throughout the world and Kenya has the longest.”
Kenya’s avocado maturing seasons start with the sowing rains in March and run through to early August, the longest compared to other countries.
“We are going village to village because we are determined to make all of us get money through adoption of high-value crops.”
On Monday alone, the County gave out up to 850 avocado seedlings to farmers in Tembelio, Kapkei, Talget villages.
Habex is a company that sponsors farmers with avocado seedlings through agreements that will be settled when fruits mature.