Sunday, May 19, 2024

Women farmers in Siaya decry shortage of extension workers

Women farmers in Siaya have decried shortage of Agricultural extension workers in the area.

The farmers want the County Government to consider hiring in the sector as a way of improving the county’s food production.

Through Women Farmers Association of Kenya (WoFaAK), Siaya Chapter, they said the shortage had directly affected the quality of farming activities and food productivity in the region.

WoFaAK Chair Carren Odhiambo said despite the massive arable land in Siaya, the area was still categorized as a food deficient county.

“There is no reason why Siaya as a county should not feed her citizens. We have a good land and enough water even if it is not rain-fed,” said Odhiambo.

She added: “If we had enough extension workers, farmers would get better advise on issues like modern technology, new farming inventions and other farm inputs.”

She spoke during the Rural Women’s Day, an annual event marked by the women farmers drawn from the five sub counties of Siaya.

The ratio of farmers to extension workers in Siaya stand at 1: 1, 500, compared to the World Bank recommended 1: 200-500.

WoFaAK says this has contributed to the decline in agricultural productivity since many farmers cannot access such crucial services.

During the event held at the Siaya Holy Cross Grounds, Agriculture CEC Dr Elizabeth Odhiambo committed to ensure that the services of the extension workers reach as many farmers as possible.

“As a department, it is our responsibility to ensure that we aid our farmers as much as possible and one of those ways is through the extension workers and the services that they offer,” she said.

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