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Saturday, 10 December 2011

Development stakeholders from Muhotetu division demand action from the local authority


By Waweru Kanja

Development stakeholders from Muhotetu division of Laikipia West district are demanding immediate rehabilitation of key roads in the division to ease transportation of farm produce.

Speaking during a development meeting held at Muhotetu chief’s ground, the stakeholders who included the area district officer, all divisional departmental heads and farmers representatives took issue with the Laikipia county council which they accused of neglecting the roads in the area for a long time.

They said roads in the division are dilapidated and especially presently due to the heavy rains pounding the area, making it almost impossible to transport any produce to the market.

“The county council is collecting a lot of money in cess from this area and should reciprocate by opening up the small roads connecting the various villages while repairing the key ones in order to reach out to all farmers in the division.

A farmer Mr. George Kaboci decried the poor prices of maize and other farm produce citing poor roads as the main cause of their predicament.

Another farmer Mrs. Mithamo blamed poor drainage system in the area as the cause of dilapidated roads adding that this was contributing greatly to farmers’ exploitation of by brokers.

Mr. Ndiritu the divisional fisheries officer reported that 42 fish ponds have been constructed in the division with two of them already operational.

Nderitu said that a cooperative society would be formed by member groups which would ease the marketing of the commodity.

The divisional agricultural officer Mr. Githua said that Muhotetu Joy self help group would benefit from water harvesting training by the ministry and that a water pan would be constructed with a water point at Gacoro area or at John Nderitu’s farm in Chereta.

He added that there were plans to sign up an agreement between Mr. Nderitu, the group and the Laikipia West district agricultural officer that he would offer his three acres of land for at least eight years to be used by the group as a training farm. Farmers he said would be trained on use of drip irrigation to grow fruits, among other modern farming methods.

The agricultural officer reminded the people who attended the meeting that 10 percent of every farm in the country should be covered with trees, in a move to increase the forest cover to the world standard of eight percent from the current three percent.

He added that all water catchments areas should be covered with environment friendly trees.
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