19 November 2011

Kenya: Coffee Farming the Way Out of Poverty, Says Gatundu DC

Gatundu DC Julius Ngumo yesterday called on farmers from the district to take coffee farming seriously. He said the crop was now fetching a good income and could help alleviate poverty in Gatundu.

Speaking at Kiganjo Youth Polytechnic at a one-day agricultural fair organised by the Gatundu Community Development Forum, Ngumo said the crop only required proper management and even those with small portions of land could benefit. He called on the elderly not to cling to land but to subdivide it among their children, saying this would offer the youth the opportunity to invest in agriculture. He said farming had become lucrative due to the increasing demand for food.

The DC called on financial institutions lending money to ensure that family members were aware of any borrowing. He said men taking loans without the knowledge of their families has caused suffering where the borrowers default and their land is auctioned.

Ngumo said it was sad to note the recent tea bonus did not benefit families as expected, as most was "misused through drinking and other retrogressive vices". He called on men to make the welfare of their families, especially the education of their children, a priority instead of squandering their farm income on luxury. Gatundu District Agricultural Officer Faith Kariuki said the annual event is a government effort to give farmers more skills in farming and animal husbandry. She called on farmers to put what they had learnt to use.

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