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Elgon Kenya, Seeds of Gold Hold A Very Successful Farming Clinic In The Outskirts Of Thika Town.

Elgon Kenya Limited and Seeds of Gold on Saturday held the first of a series of farming clinics at the Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organisation (KALRO), Kandara station, along the Thika-Kandara Highway. Farmers from all over the country were given a platform to interact with experts and agro-input suppliers.

The exhibition was ran alongside the symposium, giving various product and services providers an opportunity to showcase their products and services. During the event, the farmers had a very rare opportunity to interact with various agricultural experts who exposed them to new technologies and methodologies of farming geared towards enhancing productivity and output. Professional field consultants made recommendations to the farmers based on the information they had to help farmers reach maximum potential yields.

The morning session had been set aside to offer free training on the best practices to apply in farming before they were taken through intensive one on one instructions at exhibitors’ individual stands. They also had a chance to purchase various farm inputs, produce and high quality seeds at discounted prices.

The various exhibitors proactively engaged the farmers to ensure that the farmers acquired the necessary know-how to correctly and appropriately apply the various agricultural products to enable them achieve the best results.

Entry to the venue was free. Otherwise, for one to attend the event, they were required to bring with them, a copy of the Seeds of Gold, 16th July 2016 issue.

Speaking during the event, the Managing Director Elgon Kenya Limited, Bimal Kantaria said that his organisation was very happy to be part of this very new innovative. He was so proud to partner with Seeds of Gold who have been over the years coming up with great agricultural publications that have now swept the country. The wave, he said, had already swept along other media houses who have now come up with similar programmes.

“Today we are very happy to be here in Thika, in partnership with Nation Media Group’s Seeds of Gold and being part of a very new innovative idea of having a farmers’ clinic. For the very first time, we have decided that we will interact one on one with the farmers’ problems. We have invited farmers from all over the country today to come and talk about their problems. Elgon Kenya has brought a whole technical team to answer those problems,” said Kantaria.

He added that this was just the beginning of a series of clinics that they plan to have within a span of every two months. They expect to cover all the 47 counties within the next 24 months.

Kantaria added that they have been in partnership with the Seeds of Gold for the last 4 years where they have also launched the National Farmers Awards. Elgon Kenya has been sponsoring this is a competition that is ran in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, where they fete the best farmers in the country. 

Every year, the Best Agri-business, the Best Woman in Agriculture and the Best Youth in Agriculture from all over Kenya are usually recognised and awarded.

“At the moment, the Ministry of Agriculture teams are on the field adjudicating all those who had applied to participate. This year’s winners will be announced in October during the ASK Show in Nairobi where His Excellency the President (Uhuru Kenyatta) normally gives out the first few trophies,” he said.

He reckoned the fact that there were farmers who were not able to access this weekly publication hence the need to come up with more of such clinics. Elgon Kenya was also employing the services of about 40-50 technical experts to the fields to actually disseminate information to the rural farmers.

Kantaria was elated to see so many youth attending this clinic and was optimistic that this was the beginning of good things to come.

“I think we are in the beginning of the ‘Green Revolution’ in Kenya and it will only happen when our youth come back to Agriculture. We have such an amazingly educated and dynamic youth in this country who somehow feel that Agriculture is for the wazees but I think that they need to create their own employment and they can do this in farming. There is so much demand in the industry and so much money for that matter.”

His advice to the media was for the management to invest more in agricultural programmes considering the fact that 70% of the country depended on it.

Victor Njeri, Daily Nation’s Business Executive explained that the main reason that led to the planning of this clinic was the overwhelming questions that the Seeds of Gold desk received from farmers countrywide that could not be tackled in the space provided.

“The main reason why we planned this is we have been receiving very many questions on farming that cannot be published due to the limitations of space. So, we decided to have a symposium where we can have a one on one interaction with specific farmers and have specific experts address each case,” said Victor.

 He appealed to farmers all over Kenya to take advantage of such forums so as to make their Agricultural ventures a success. He added that this was just work in progress and it was such a great learning experience even for the Nation Media Group team who he said had learnt a lot from this experience.

He said that they expected the next of such clinics to be held in Egerton, Nakuru in the month of September.
Daniel Mwangi, a young dairy and vegetable farmer in Kandara, Murang’a County was all praises to this new development by Elgon Kenya and Seeds of Gold since according to him, was a great learning experience.

“It has been of great benefit to me personally. When I came here I was specifically coming to learn about irrigation. My questions were well answered. I have the information now and am ready to implement my plans in the farm. It is beneficial and I have seen the same with most of the farmers I met here,” said Mwangi.

He encouraged fellow youth to come back to farming. He said that, in the last six months he had ventured into agri-business, he had started reaping the sweet fruits of the trade.

Among the facilitators included Egerton University and Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organisation (KALRO).

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