Avocado production programme for small scale farmers in Kirinyaga
The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) has launched an avocado production program aimed at assisting small scale farmers to produce quality fruit for the ready European market.
The pilot project which has been launched in Kirinyaga County with an initial 200 farmers will see them linked to the market directly without any middlemen.
Launching the project on Saturday at the General Kassam Njogu stadium, KEPHIS Managing Director, Dr. Esther Kimani said foreign consumers for the product have insisted on avocados from the County.
“The available overseas market is so large that what is being produced by our farmers is just a drop in the ocean, and that is why we want the acreage for this particular avocado variety (Hass) increased two fold,” said the MD.
Kimani said the crop, which bears an average of 200 fruits per a single plant, has the potential of enabling the county to establish its own processing factory for the produce.
“Once we reach this level, a factory will certainly be set up in the area, which will automatically create the much needed jobs for the youths,’’ she said.
The Area Deputy Governor, Peter Ndambiri who officiated at the launch said such a project should be supported at all costs.
Meanwhile, Ndambiri called on residents to come out in large numbers and vote for President Uhuru Kenyatta come October 26.
“Even if this project was actualized, it will be in vain unless we give the president fresh mandate to run this country, so as to complete programs of this nature,” said the deputy governor.
By Irungu Mwangi