Hass farmers within the country have been advised to purchase their seedlings from registered dealers to avoid being duped by unscrupulous sellers. The sentiments come in the wake when most farmers within Western region have been lured to purchase non quality seedlings from unrecognized dealers who do not understand the crop well.
Speaking during an educational tour at their Kaimosi farm in Vihiga county, Sasa Village Produce, Managing Director of Sisi Village produce Patrick Kisia called farmers to be wary of marauding dealers who are not licensed but were luring farmer into purchasing Avocados seedlings from them alleging them to be original Hass species only to find out that they have been conned off their cash.
The educational tour that attracted Hass avocado farmers brand ambassadors, field officers and investors was meant to demystify the myth surrounding Hass farming and to enlighten the farmers on the best practices that will enable them reap from the fruit.
“We are accumulated here today to educate our farmer about the bet ways of planting this Hass avocado, hoe to identify the best and correct seedlings, how to care for the trees until it starts fruiting and why Hass avocado farming is the next big investment in the country.”
The Director said it was time farmers in the region embraced this type of farming considering that there was a ready market for the produce ad its profits were of beneficial value compared to cane farming.
‘We as Sisi Village are committed to give our farmer quality seedlings training and expertise on how to manage their avocado farms from planting to harvesting and our field officers are o the lookout to see to it that farmer get quality for their monies, we have educated and trained our officers on best farming practices and we value our farmers and that is why our officers are right on the ground with them to ensure that they assist them do soil sampling, testing planting procedures, correct spacing, get the best quality seedlings and follow the laid down guidelines for proper yields and so far we are happy to announce that many farmers who subscribed to us in Nyanza and Western regions have no regrets and are about to start earning from the crop.
Kisia hailed the tremendous job his field agents were doing as more farmers were now aware of the benefits of Hass farming and were moving away from sugar cane farming.
“The notion that if you plant avocados o your farm you will die of hunger is unfound and backward since you can plant other friendly crops between the spaces and its benefits surpasses those of sugarcane by far”
The company has set up nurseries in Kimilili, Likuyani and Malava areas to be able to supply to the farmers from those regions.
“At Kimilili we have a nursery with 60,000 seedlings per cycle that adds up to 120,000 per annum, with Likuyani having 100,000 compared to Malava that houses 150,000 and our target is to have 9 Million seedlings in the ne five years ad to achieve this have to set up 10-15,000 nurseries in the entire region ad this Kaimosi nursery is the first one in Western region to give farmers ready seedlings for planting but we are setting up others as the need for seeds in the regions keeps on increasing.
At Sasa we go by numbers data and hence e strictly sticks to high standards of best quality seeds. Do our own grafting to ensure that farmers gets the best quality seedlings from us since our core mandate is not business but goo service to our farmers and our standards cannot be compromised and this has made us stand out as the best Hass avocado producers in the country.
On quality control, the manager stated that it was necessary for each nursery to have a quality control ambassador who will ensure that only quality seedlings are in the nursery.
He urged the officers to seriously embrace the information being relayed to them for they are the ones to educate the farmers when they visit their farms.
This tour is meant to educate you on the best practices that you will in turn disseminate to the famers to enable them not make losses from Hass farming.
“Already we have a report of a farm of a prominent Kenyan (Politician) who planted seven hectares of avocado seedlings that were not all Hass and he relied on agricultural officers who in return misled him and it has been three years and he is yet to harvest we are going there as Sisi Village produce to correct the mistakes and give him the right seedlings.
On the production of crude oil, he revealed that plans were underway to set up a crude oil extraction factory at Kaimosi to be able to suck all the fruit that do not meet the exportation requirements.
It is a government policy to have crude oil locally produced and we are making a promise to them that as a company we are ready to commence the process come December.
As a country we are importing crude oil with exactly the same amount of money we are importing fuel, that tells you how huge this issue is and we want to take on Ukraine which is the largest supplier of cooking oil and we have already partnered with an investor to set up a factory that will give birth to others I other regions as our fruits matures for harvesting and exporting.
Already we have a company at EPZ Athi River that is collecting all kinds of Avocado fruits for extraction purposes and as a government has signed a contract to export Hass avocados, there are quarters that we must meet by increasing our supply chain. ”
By Andabwa Wycliffe