Avocado farmers seek for the services of extension officers

Avocado farmers Mary Mugo and Stanley Mugo displays a certified avocado seedling when the Bigfarm carried out an orientation day for new crop farmers at Mugo's Riagitugu farm in Mutithi Ward , Kirinyaga West sub county

Avocado farmers are urging  the Kirinyaga County Government to deploy Extension officers to their shambas  and  guide them on  the best crop husbandry in order to rip  economic benefits .

The farmers who  have clusters within the upper side of Mutithi Ward,  Mwea   West Sub-County expressed  fears of massive exploitation by brokers and middlemen involved in the value  chain.

Through their coordinator Mary  Mugo , the  farmers said since the crop was  in high   demand in China  and other foreign countries, it was also incumbent upon the area county government to assist them in establishing a  nursery to cushion them from plating poor quality and uncertified seedlings.

“Presently we  depend on seedlings supplied by individuals whose  location  of their  nurseries  could not be established leading to poor yields from the uncertified seedlings  the gullible farmers buy ,”Ms Mugo said.

Bigfarm's extension officer Kiragu Njuguna demonstrating the modern methond of planting avocado seedlings at Riagitugu village , Murithi Ward during an orientation day for the cash crop Courtney of their colleague Mary Mugo

At a media briefing at her Riagitugu farm during an induction course for newly recruited  farmers for the crop , Mugo said the  Avocado sector should  be guided by county policies which should be formulated by all the stake holders at the earliest opportunity .

The farmers had been  brought together by a  neighboring  county private nursery  company Bigfarm through Mugo who is a pioneer  Avocado  farmer in  Riagitugu area which saw the existing opportunity in the Avocado sector and filled up the gap.

Bigfarm’s Kiragu Njuguna who was present later carried out an intensive seedling planting technique which farmers said was new to them as compared to how they used  to plant before the training .

Njuguna while acknowledging  the urgent need for the county to establish  its nursery , the official said the move  would save  the farmers the agony of having to  rely on seedlings from unknown sources .

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