MACHAKOS county produced 14,196 tonnes of vegetables in the past year fetching farmers more than Sh920 million, Agriculture Assistant Minister Gedion Ndambuki has said.
"Those growing key fruits and vegetables including bananas, mangoes, passion fruit, onions and kale also made substantial cash from their products," Ndambuki said. He said a good number of these fruits can withstand adverse weather conditions.
Ndambuki said fish farming in Machakos county also did well with the county earning Sh30 million after harvesting and selling more than 30,000 kilogrammes of fish. He urged extension service providers to continue advising farmers on proper husbandry practices. The minister said there is great potential for coffee in the county if the 26 coffee societies, in the county, can remain active and well managed.
He was speaking during the opening of the ASK South Eastern branch show in Machakos town. The show was also attended by ASK national chairperson Alice Kalya and the chief executive officer Batram Muthoka. Ndambuki said his ministry, through traditional high value crop project, is encouraging farmer groups to plant indigenous food crops like sorghum, millet, cassava and cow peas.
He urged cotton farmers to step up production as current prices stand at Sh63 per kilo up from Sh32 last year and there are plans to introduce the BT cotton which will further bring down production costs. The livestock sub-sector is also doing well in the region with dairy farmers, through various co-operatives, selling more than 10 million litres of milk annually and earning Sh400 million.