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A south-east Alego farmer who runs one of the Haga Farm Benjamin Okello was dependent on seasonal horticultural famer because he used a treadle pump which are not cost-effective and labour-saving.

But all of that changed when he started incorporating generator powered pump

The positive results are also noticeable in his books as one harvest can generate up to KES 30,000 in a week

“All the greens you see growing on my farm, they’re here because of the pump, which we hired at KES 2000 in a month” says Okello who plants kales, tomatoes, spinach, beans and local vegetables as part of his horticulture ventures.

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” I started the irrigation programe alone and later was joined by three famers and now we are 20 people who have registered Haga group.

“Our small savings were not being banked as done by other groups. We could use part of it to sort out the water pump bills and secure other acreages of land,” Okello added

Currently, we hire water pump but we sunked a 15 feet bore hole that is helping in the irrigation system.

We are happy that our group is among the 20 that have benefitted from the 20 water pumps procured by the county government of Siaya.

“We shall now spend the Sh 2000, we used to facilitate water pump on purchasing the seeds of different horticultiral crops,” said Okello.

Peter Odhiambo who has a tree nursery, added another source of income and witnessed an increase in his profit after substituting buckets and a treadle pump for the generator powered pump. The extra income from coriander, carrots, and kales, allowed him to raise over 60 percent of the number of seedlings in a year.

Odhiambo says he found it challenging to meet the demands of his clients when using the previous irrigation methods.

“The generator power pump has multiplied his income though it was being hired

“They replace either hard manual labour of physically carrying water to every plant for irrigation.

For some like Rosemary Oloo – who owns a 2.5-acre farm and produces maize, beans, and tomatoes – the pump has availed more intimate time to interact with her plants as it can be set to automatically irrigate plants.

“The pump has been a great help; we can now spend less time watering and more time tending the tomatoes and ensuring maximum productivity,” says Oloo, adding that with the new pumps they have received they will maximize the benefits

We shall now put more money on fuel which is less compared with the previous bills that included a generator.

In the past, she managed to harvest more than 500kgs of tomatoes each week over eight months from her three greenhouses

“The water pumps assist small/medium scale farmers by giving them a sustainable option for irrigation,” explains Agriculture executive Silvester K’Okoth.

K’Okoth asked youths to emulate the Haga Farm group horticultural venture to boost Siaya’s food security.”

He further asked Youths to share contact with the Haga group to get knowledge and high crop technology.

Agricultural production can thrive in Siaya.

“We must start learning to embrace Cooperative and be famer producers that gains economically.

Meanwhile 20 farmer groups in South East ward in Alego Usonga Sub County have received water pumps and irrigation pipes worth Sh. 1.5 million to boost food productivity in the region.

The farm implements were issued farmer groups courtesy of Siaya county government ward development fund 2023/24 financial year.

Scholarstica Madowo says that the implements will ease famers work interms of irrigation programes that targets horticultural crops.

Each of the water pump has costed Sh45000.

The MCA’ has entered agreement with the groups that the water pump is leased to them for three years. Once it’s well used , it will become their property.

Aim of the supplements is to enable famers in the ward to increase lands under cultivation

“We have established that Siaya is a net importer of food, everything consumed here comes from neighbouring county and Uganda so it’s upon us to make use of the good climatic conditions and fertile soils.

“The pumps we are distributing to group’s today it’s a major boost to our horticultural production,” said Madowo..

The MCA regretted that lands were lying idle and fallow and yet it ought to be put under productions.

“Let’s move away from subsistence farming a practice that must be changed if the region is to attain food sufficiency,” he added.

He further asked farmers to make use of the machines.

“It should not be locked in the house of their chairman. It must be operated by majority,” said Madowo.

She added that the idea to empower locals put to end the hand outs syndrome that was thriving in Siaya County.

“I rather spent the resources you want on handouts on economic ventures that would make you busy and have positive impact on many youths,” she added.

 

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