Embrace research to address food challenges, counties told

Agriculture researchers have called on devolved units to embrace research findings done by government institutions to solve agriculture challenges in the country.

Led by Kenya Agriculture Livestock and Research Organization (KALRO) Embu Director, Patrick Gicheru, they said research findings can help in addressing pests and diseases challenges as well as food shortages.

He said cases of drought that were experienced early this year could have been avoided had counties used research findings to advise farmers on better farming methods.

The Director faulted county agriculture officials for failing to recognize and empower the research institution, saying they do not bother to use their research findings.

Some of the problems that face agriculture sector can easily be solved through research. We are asking counties to partner with us in some of our work so that new research findings can reach the farmers, he said

He cited a recent research into the drying up of miraa in parts of Meru which found out that the crops were infested with scales, saying they have helped those affected with information on the pesticides to use.

Gicheru called on County Governments to consider funding researchers to train farmers in basic agricultural technologies such as soil sampling in readiness for its testing.

He called on farmers to utilize the Embu station’s soil testing facilities so that they can be advised on the right nutrients to add to their farms

With assistance of the devolved units, we can carry out more research to benefit farmers in their localities. On our own, the organization might not manage to carry out a lot of research due to limited funding, he said.

Source: Kenya News Agency