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Monday, 30 March 2015

Laikipia County holds an agribusiness trade fairs

By Bob Aston
The Kenya Livestock Producers Association in collaboration with the Laikipia County Government, co-hosts Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF), KCB Foundation, Agri Profocus, ACK Church, Isinya Feeds, Unga, FarmCare Ltd, Cooper K- Brands and Agricultural Industrial Network organized a two day agribusiness Trade fairs on March 27-28, 2015 at Nyahururu stadium, Nyahururu town, Laikipia County which was officially opened by Laikipia Governor Hon Joshua Irungu. The theme for the Agribusiness Trade fair was “Farming is big Business.”
Some of the exhibitors included; Laikipia Produce and Marketing Co-operative Society, Kenya Seed Company Ltd, Equity Bank, Family Bank, Pionner Hi-Bred Ltd, Unga Farm Care Ltd, Amiran, Kenya National Domestic Biogas Programme, Bidco Dairy Feed, esoko, UAP, Soil Cares Ltd, Medina Chemicals Ltd. Nakuru Simba Machinery and Fabricators, Sonix Investments Ltd, Export Processing Zones in Kenya, Elgon Kenya Ltd, Kenya Women Microfinance Bank, Laikipia Leather Works, Avery East Africa Ltd, Kukuchick Ltd, Wisdom Innovations, Smart Farmers Federation, Tassols, Agri Irrigation and Borehole Ltd, Twiga Chemical Limited and Raka Milk Processors Ltd.
Farmers at one of the exhibition stands

 Speaking during the opening ceremony, Laikipia County Governor Hon Joshua Irungu said that the County Government is focusing more attention on livestock production by investing more resources in the sector.
He noted that they have started promoting hay production to ensure livestock get enough feed. He said that the county will disburse free hay seeds to farmers who are willing to grow hay.
“We have already bought three milk coolers worth Ksh 8 million for farmers. We are also trying to ensure that farmers are organized into groups so that we can assist them find market. This will also ensure that they enjoy economies of scale,” said Governor Irungu.
The objectives of the trade fair included; to afford the regions farmers, service providers and industry suppliers a unique opportunity to showcase their products for benchmarking and trade, expose agricultural sector stakeholders (practitioners and suppliers) to new technologies and ideas for better efficiencies and quality, provide a platform for short seminars and demonstrations to small scale and large scale players in the sector, to showcase outstanding breeds for different livestock and to encourage farmers to invest in farming as a business.
Governor Irungu at one of the exhibition stands
Governor Irungu urged farmers to invest more into water harvesting technologies instead of relying on rain fed water. This he said will ensure that they are able to harvest throughout the year. He urged farmers to diversify in order to enjoy better returns.
He noted that the Household Economic Empowerment Program will play a big role in improving the livelihood of farmers at the household level.
“The program will benefit farmers who are interested in poultry, dairy and rabbit farming. Farmers will also be taught about kitchen garden. We will soon donate incubators to two youth groups per ward in the county,” said Governor Irungu.
Some of the highlight of the two days Agri-business exhibition included ; Dairy Products,  E-dairy, rabbits, quails, bee Keeping, agro-chemicals and seeds, financial services products, Insurance Services, agricultural  products, domestic tourism, mcommerce, biogas and bio-fuels demonstration, artificial insemination (AI), greenhouse farming and farm machinery and equipments.
The trade fairs are monthly events organized by the Kenya Livestock Producers Association in various counties in the Country. Farmers and farmer groups are not charged for exhibiting during the trade fairs while entrance is free for members of the public.
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