Bid to tame post harvest losses in Trans Nzoia

Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba (left) address journalists during the launch of portable seed driers at Kiminini Sub County. Photo/Courtesy

The County government of Trans Nzoia has acquired portable cereal driers in a bid to cushion farmers from the adverse effects of post harvest losses brought about by rotting of their produce.

Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba noted that the driers will come in handy for most farmers who have for long been relying on traditional methods of drying their cereals.

“It is estimated that farmers loss around 30% of their produce to post harvest losses. The loss leads to reduced productivity and income for farmers thus negatively affecting livelihoods,” Governor Khaemba spoke at the launch of the initiative in Kiminini.

Each of the five sub counties will have the portable driers which have the capacity of drying 1000 bags within a day by reducing the moisture content to required levels. The driers can be operated by a tractor or electricity.

He also challenged farmers to use Hematic gunny bags in the storage of their cereals in order to cushion them from the effects of Aflatoxin which accounts for a rise in cancerous infections.

Aflatoxin is a highly poisonous cancer-causing chemical produced by a fungus scientifically known as Aspergillus flavus which attacks and contaminates Cereals when poorly dried following heavy rainfall near harvest time.

Researchers at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Karlo) have developed a product called Aflasafe which will drastically reduce aflatoxic condemnation in Maize.

Governor Khaemba meanwhile called on the national government to convene a conference of all stakeholders in the Agriculture sector to chart the way forward on reviving the sector which is ailing.

“There are so many policies that the ministry of Agriculture has put in place but these strategies have not been implemented. We need to rejuvenate this sector which is a pillar in Kenya’s economy,” he said.