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Busia looks to 5X maize production through subsidised tractor services

Busia County has unveiled new state-of-the-art tractors which will subsidize the cost of land ploughing at a rate of Sh2500 per acre, which will help increase grain production from the normal 2-5 bags per acre to 15-25 bags. This will help achieve the goal of economic revitalization through agriculture mechanization.

Speaking during the official unveiling of the tractors held at Butula Vocational Training Centre, Governor Paul Nyongesa Otuoma said that the target is to plough 20,000 acres for over 150,000 farmers, achieving a production of 20–25 bags of maize per acre.

This will empower local farmers in boosting food production as well as offering quick and affordable land preparation services.

“About 30 per cent of Busia County residents depend on farming, and therefore we have to be food secure through the revitalization of agriculture. Kenya spends over Sh500 billion on importing food. Embracing this project will not only boost Busia County but also the national goals of food security,” he stated.

The governor also said that through this mechanization, the County’s Industrial Park at Nasewa, which is being developed, will have farmers sell their produce locally by producing for the industrial park, hence providing a ready market for their produce locally and improving the economy of the county as well.

The Deputy County Commissioner, Pamela Otieno, on behalf of the County Commissioner, urged the farmers to wholeheartedly embrace farming through mechanized agriculture as change is inevitable. Also, through other officers, they promised to ensure there is tractor handling safety.

The Chief Officer for Agriculture, Timothy Odende, urged farmers to register in their respective wards through their ward agricultural officers and go in groups of a maximum of 10 people for plowing to take place at once in one day.

“Some of the farmers using the tractors will be distributed with free seeds through the help of the Governor in partnership with agricultural partners like YARA Millers. Farmers are encouraged to join cooperatives to access farm inputs under better terms,” he said.

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