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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Farmers in Ndurumo sensitized on post harvest maize management

By Moses Ndungu
One hundred and eight farmers (108) from Ndurumo area of Rumuruti Ward, Laikipia West were on February 26, 2015 sensitized on a maize concept note titled “Formation, Legalization and Training Maize Value Chain Groups on Post-harvest Management.” The event which took place at Ndurumo Chief’s camp was organized by the Agricultural Sector Development Support Program (ASDSP).
Mrs. Kioko addressing the farmers
Speaking during the meeting, Peris Mutua, Value Chain Development officer with ASDSP noted that the maize value chain lacks adequate and effective co-ordination due to lack of organizations to champion the collective interests of the value chain players leading to ineffective post-harvest management strategies.
She said that the maize concept note project seeks to improve Maize value chain organization and co-ordination and reduce post-harvest losses of maize in the County.
Mrs. Emily Kioko, Sub County Agricultural Officer gave an overview of the ASDSP project and the three value chains being implemented in Laikipia County. She noted that despite Laikipia West being a maize producing region most farmers have been experiencing high post-harvest maize losses.
She explained to the farmers what value chain is, noting that value chain approach will ensure that they benefit from farming.
Amos Nderitu, Rumuruti Ward Agriculture officer addressing farmers
“Farmers in Laikipia County have been losing close to 30 percent of maize harvest due to pests, diseases and rotting. The project aims to reduce post-harvest grain losses in the County and also to ensure that farmers start benefiting from use of Ndurumo Cereal Bank which is located in the area,” said Mrs. Kioko.
Bob Aston from Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) informed the farmers that they will be trained in post harvest maize management in value chain groups of 20 or more members. He said that the value chain groups will also be capacity built by among others; SNV- Netherlands Development Organization, Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
The farmers agreed to have two (2) value chain groups in Ndurumo Cluster. Ndurumo Cereal Bank will be one of the groups while farmers who are not members of Ndurumo Cereal Bank will form their own value chain group.
Twelve sensitization meetings will be carried out in the six wards in Laikipia West with each ward hosting two meetings. Already sensitization meetings have been carried out in Ol-Moran, Rumuruti and Karandi.
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