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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

ASDSP and Meteorological department hold sensitization training

By Bob Aston 

The Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) in conjunction with the Kenya Meteorological department on April 14, 2014 held a farming and weather pattern prediction training at Sipili DO’s office, in Laikipia County.
Bett addressing farmers during the training
The training was organized by the trainer of trainers (TOT) who had earlier been inducted by the Meteorological department in a Nyahururu workshop. 

The training was meant to sensitize farmers on preparedness for the long rain season in reference to weather forecasting and agriculture, this will empower farmers to understand about effects of climate change and develop suitable adaptation action plans as they prepare for unexpected climatic changes during the planting seasons.

During the training Bett Kipsang, Secretary Maize Value Chain Core Group (VCCG) of ASDSP in Laikipia County urged the farmers on the importance of knowing about climate change mitigation measures.
Bett said that sometimes farmers ignore vital weather information and as a result incure losses due to foreseen circumstances.
Bett informed farmers that weather forecasting will help them to plan their farming activities appropriately and decide wisely on the type of crop to plant and when to plant it.
Mr. Joseph Mwati, Chairman Maize VCCG, Laikipia County took farmers through traditional ways of predicting weather patterns. He said that as much as the traditional weather prediction has been reliable farmers now need to understand and integrate modern weather forecasting information into their farming calendar.
“Most Kenyans rarely follow predicted weather forecast. We have to accept that the weather pattern keeps changing and we need to change too,” said Mwati.
The overall goal of ASDSP is to transform Kenyan’s Agricultural sector into an innovative, commercially-oriented, competitive and modern industry that contributes to poverty eradication, improved food security and equity in rural and urban Kenya.
“We have been sent here to ensure that farmers are well informed about meteorological news. Most farmers normally get meteorological news but they never follow what they have been informed,” said Mwati.
Mwati addressing the farmers during the training
Noah Koinett, an extension officer with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries said that effective adaptation to climate change is dependent on access to climate information.
Noah said that some causes of climate change are deforestation, industries and destruction of water bodies. He urged farmers to adapt to climate change challenges by listening to what meteorologists predict and also planting drought resistant or rather orphan crops.
“I urge farmers to make use of resources available in the ministry and also hear what meteorologists are teaching them,” said Noah.
Noah informed farmers to ensure they use recommended seeds when they are told that minimal amount of rainfall will be experienced.
“Water harvesting and irrigation is key when mitigating climate change effect,” said Noah.
The farmers present agreed to disseminate the information to the groups as well as attend trainings when they are called upon.
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