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Saturday, 8 August 2015

Ol-Moran ward farmers receive 1300 mango seedlings

By Bob Aston
Farmers in Ol-Moran Ward in Laikipia West Sub County on August 5, 2015 received 1300 mango seedlings courtesy of Laikipia County Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. The disbursement of the mango seedlings at Ng’arua Maarifa Centre saw 218 farmers benefit through the initiative.
Speaking while commissioning the seedlings, Mr. James Kamau, Ol-Moran Ward Agriculture officer said that the County Government bought the seedlings from Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) at Kshs. 140 but farmers received the seedlings at Kshs. 40.
Farmers at Ng'arua Maarifa with their mango seedlings
He noted that fruit production has been on the increase in Sipili and they are now looking at ways of ensuring that farmers enjoy maximum return and are able to improve their livelihood. He said that they would be doing a follow up to see how the fruits are growing.
“This is just a catalyst to encourage you to purchase more seeds to increase your mango production. The initiative will continue to ensure more farmers also benefit,” said Kamau.
Ol-Moran ward has favourable climate and soils for mango production. The County government wants more farmers to venture into mango farming, as they will be able to receive good returns despite the effect of climate change.
Tapping into the huge potential of the mango value chain will ensure optimum production of the fruit in the ward. Mr. Kamau expects the ward to receive 500 more seedlings.
“Mango farming is a long term investment but it is important to know that once you start harvesting it will be worth the effort. The fruits can also withstand the dry weather condition which is currently being experienced in Sipili,” said Mr. Kamau.
Kiarie and Peter after receiving the mango seedlings
Johanna Kiarie, one of the beneficiaries noted that most farmers opt to plant mangoes because of a readily available market and good prices. He managed to buy 10 seedlings. 
Kiarie prefers planting mangoes, as apart from being able to get fruits the trees will provide shade at his farm. He intends to increase mango production at his homestead.
Peter Nderitu cleared university last year and is now interested in embracing agriculture. Peter has decided to start with mango farming. He managed to buy 12 seedlings. There is no single mango tree at their homestead but he hopes that this will change soon.
 “I hope that I will succeed as a farmer even though I have never been involved in agriculture. The grafted mangoes will take less space and do not require a lot of care,” said Peter.
Farmers have been able to receive mango, avocado, orange and pawpaw seedlings through the Laikipia County Government initiatives. The mango seedlings require three years to start producing fruits.
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