Seed firm sets up irrigation farm to meet rising demand
Posted Wednesday, August 22 2012 at 19:18
- The project was set up at a cost of more than Sh30 million. Installation of the project is over and KSC is awaiting commissioning by the Minister for Agriculture.
- The company has come up with new seed varieties which can resist the dynamic environmental and climatic changes.
- The company also has an eye on the South Sudan and DR Congo markets. The grain-seed producer is also set to establish new packaging standards to minimise faking by rogue traders who replicate the company’s products.
The Kenya Seed Company (KSC) has established an irrigation project at Endebess in Trans Nzoia, in a bid to minimise over-reliance on rain-fed production.
KSC managing director Willy Bett said the pilot project was set up at a cost of more than Sh30 million. “Installation of the project is over and we are awaiting commissioning by the Minister for Agriculture,” Mr Bett told journalists at the company’s offices in Kitale.
The project is expected to boost KSC’s production capacity at a time when the company has expanded its seed supply in East and Central Africa.
The company also has an eye on the South Sudan and DR Congo markets. The grain-seed producer is also set to establish new packaging standards to minimise faking by rogue traders who replicate the company’s products, Mr Bett said.
“We are coming up with a sophisticated way of packaging seeds to put an end to what we witnessed this year where unscrupulous traders cashed in on farmers’ ignorance to sell them fake maize seeds,” he said.
Licenses of traders who were involved in the scam, which was widespread in the North Rift region, have been cancelled. The scam was busted during a search conducted by police officers from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and Kenya Seed Company.
The swoop was conducted across western Kenya in Eldoret, Chwele, Kamukuywa, Kimilili, and Kitale towns.
Mr Bett said that the company would unveil new seed varieties during this year’s field day to be inaugurated by Agriculture minister Sally Kosgey today.
New seed varieties
“The company has come up with new seed varieties which can resist the dynamic environmental and climatic changes,” he said. Mr Bett said that the new seed varieties would benefit farmers since most have posted poor yields due to climatic change.
He expressed disappointment at the failure of farmers to put to use advice offered during agriculture exhibitions to improve on their yields.
“Farmers should utilise these exhibitions to increase their yields by adopting diverse production skills that are taught at the exhibitions,” he said.
Mr Bett said that the company had unveiled new farming techniques aimed at ensuring that farmers with limited land get high yields.
“Owing to pressure on land occasioned by population growth, KSC is teaching farmers how to utilise limited land space to produce high yields.’’