The County Government of Uasin Gishu, Department of Agriculture and Agribusiness, in partnership with the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) and the Horticulture Crops Directorate on Wednesday, held a meeting with the herbs and spices growers of the North Rift region to find ways to tap into the potential of these crops and maximize the use of Eldoret International Airport.
During the discussions, the growers shared their experiences, challenges, and opportunities in the herb and spice farming sector. The farmers highlighted the need for a more coordinated approach in the production, marketing, and distribution of the crops, therefore stressing the need for quality control and certification so that they can access lucrative markets such as the Middle East, Europe, and the USA.
The County Director for Agriculture Reuben Seroney assured the growers of their support in providing technical advice on modern farming practices, access to agricultural inputs and linkages to markets.
“I want to call upon the growers to form associations and cooperatives to facilitate bulking which would help them negotiate better prices and access credit facilities from financial institutions,” says Seroney.
The director urged farmers to develop a roadmap on how to unlock the potential of herbs and spices farming in the region saying that the county will work on strategies on how to engage with export markets, promote value addition, and improve the overall productivity of the sector.
He further reiterated that Governor Jonathan Bii’s administration is working toward helping farmers to utilize the Eldoret international airport to serve as a hub for air cargo.
“Our region stands as a significant chance of becoming a major exporter of herbs and spices,” adds Seroney.
According to the Acting Director of Agriculture Food Authority-Horticultural Crops Directorate Christine Rotich, the engagement of growers with key stakeholders in the sector is indeed a timely initiative that will not only create employment opportunities but also promote food security and generate foreign exchange earnings for the country.
AFA North Rift Regional Coordinator Barnabas Kiptum, and representatives from Nandi, Elgeyo/ Marakwet and Baringo Counties were also present.