Trans Nzoia Deputy Governor Dr Stanley Tarus has urged farmers to diversify and seek alternative crops to boost food security in the counties and also to improve their livelihoods.
Dr Tarus said maize farmers cannot rely solely on maize and wheat production because of changing economic trends.
“If we only depend on maize, our economy will collapse because Uganda produces a lot of maize even without using fertilizer and their maize has flooded our market and obviously, a rational consumer will not buy expensive maize when cheap maize is available,” said Tarus
Speaking in Ngonyek , Cherangany constituency, the Deputy Governor said the County Government has rolled out a crop diversification programme to help uplift the living standards of the farmers in the county.
“We have embarked on a crop diversification programme where other crops such as Tissue Culture Bananas, cash/industrial crops promotion (Coffee, Tea and Macadamia), Fruit production and Irish potatoes are being promoted to widen the farmer’s income streams for economic empowerment and poverty alleviation. Seedlings are available for farmers at subsidized prices to enhance uptake,” he said
His sentiments were supported by Former Cherangany MP Wesley Korir, who pointed out that diversification is the only way farmers from the county will uplift their standards of living.
Korir observed that for many years the county has been majorly producing maize at the expense of other profitable crops like tea and coffee, citing mono-cropping as the reason why the poverty rate in the county has been skyrocketing.
“There is no other way of salvaging this county from poverty than urging our farmers to open up to other crops than maize,” said Korir.