- USAID-funded KCDMS promoting deep tillage and rapid soil testing for sustainable agriculture.
- Deep tillage enhances water retention, reduces erosion, and aims to boost food security in the southeast region.
- Campaign targets 6,000 farmers across three counties, promoting certified seed use and subsidizing tractor services.
The United States International Agency (USAID) funded Feed the Future Kenya Crops Market Systems (KCDMS) has embarked on a transformative initiative to bolster agricultural practices in the lower southeastern region.
Through a comprehensive campaign, KCDMS is promoting deep tillage and rapid soil testing, driven by the following key points:
Enhancing Sustainable Agriculture
KCDMS, under the guidance of Brenda Aluda, Senior Technical Adviser, is spearheading a deep tillage campaign.
This initiative introduces modern technology, including tractor-drawn chisel ploughs, facilitating deeper soil penetration during ploughing.
This technology conserves water for crops during dry spells, ensuring that available moisture remains in the soil for extended periods. It also mitigates soil erosion, addressing the region’s pressing food security concerns.
Expanded Outreach and Partnership
The campaign aims to sensitize 6,000 farmers in Makueni, Kitui, and Taita Taveta counties. Collaborating with county governments, KCDMS offers farmers a unique opportunity: for every acre a farmer ploughs, the project ploughs an additional acre for free.
This expansion comes after KCDMS successfully assisted farmers in cultivating 2,300 acres under deep tillage during the long rains from March to May.
The organization also collaborates with community seed multipliers to promote drought-resistant crops like green grams, cowpeas, and pigeon peas.
Empowering Farmers Through Education
KCDMS goes beyond technology adoption. They encourage farmers to use certified seeds from agro-vets to maximize yields.
The organization recognizes that reusing uncertified seeds can deplete their genetic potential and lead to reduced crop production.
To further support farmers, KCDMS provides subsidized tractor services at a cost of Shs. 2,500 per acre.
Soil clinics are also initiated, allowing farmers to get personalized soil health assessments, nutrient level insights, pH analysis, and tailored crop recommendations, fostering informed agricultural decision-making.
Ann Muema, a local farmer, attested to the positive impact of deep tillage technology, stating that it significantly improved her farm yields.
Mr. Daniel Ndolo, Chief Officer of the Department of Agriculture, emphasized that this conservation agriculture approach would boost crop production while encouraging the adoption of innovative farming practices.
KCDMS’s campaigns are set to cover various locations across the region, including Mavindi, Kathangini, Kalawa, Mbumbuni, Tawa, Kavumbu, Kitise, Thange, Masongaleni, Kambu, Mtito Andei, and Makindu. Through these efforts, KCDMS strives to empower farmers, promote sustainable practices, and enhance food security in the southeast region.