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Kericho farmers urged to diversify

Kericho County residents have been urged to diversify farming instead of overly relying on tea. Agriculture Cabinet secretary Willy Bett said diversification will not only result in increased food production but also enhance their participation in the global market and their earnings. He urged residents to diversify to horticulture as a fallback strategy, adding that those who have not embraced the sub-sector should do so since it is a lucrative venture.

Bett who was speaking in Belgut Constituency during a farmers’ Field Day said the sub-sector currently earns the country approximately Sh100 billion annually. Avocado and orange fleshed sweet potato farming were launched during the event.

Earnings in the sub-sector, the CS said has been made possible through improved infrastructure such as roads and ICT, adding that the government has made major investments in this area.

He said the government is focusing on production of fruits, flowers, edible flowers, vegetables, nuts and herbs in bid to ensure increased productivity in the sub-sector and boost exports. The government, he said, has increased focus on agribusiness to drive economic growth and development.

“There are also increased and improved farmers’ awareness forums and regulatory framework in place,” Bett said. He said organisations like Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service, Horticultural Crops Directorate play a key role in ensuring that exports meet international markets requirement.

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