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 .