In 2014/15 the department was able to provide inputs to farmers, acquire farm machinery for agricultural mechanization, promote Dairy and Poultry farming, and promote fisheries farming and animal disease management among others. However, the Department continues to face the following challenges, among them, weak monitoring and evaluation system and inadequate physical facilities. Other challenges are the high cost of farm inputs, declining soil fertility, high cost of credit and poor marketing infrastructure. In addition, production has been undermined by weak research-extension-farmer linkages and the effects of climate change.
The Department’s strategic focus for 2015/16 is to enhance agricultural production and productivity by initially completing the existing irrigation projects, promote Dairy and poultry farming and control of livestock diseases. To alleviate poverty, the department is targeting the resource poor households through the inputs access programme, which has a component of inputs provision as a start-up fund for the beneficiaries. They will be expected to carry out the same agricultural activities on their own in the subsequent years. In addition, the department intends to focus on capacity building of farmers through trainings provided by agricultural training center. To improve on land preparation, the department is set to re-engineer the farm operations section at Bumala Agriculture Mechanization Service station. The tractors at the sub-county level will play a lead role in agricultural mechanization activities.
The department will also focus on promotion of sustainable aquaculture through the supply of quality fingerlings to farmers, train farmers on fish farming husbandry and ensure compliance with fisheries management standards , conservation and restoration of fisheries stock in critical habitat.
The Department further intends to strengthen co-management governance structures to guarantee fish safety and quality, reduce post-harvest losses, and issue health certification for fish products.
To undertake these programmes, the 2015/16- 2017/18 MTEF estimates for the sector are estimated to be Ksh.1, 279,323,159. For the FY 2015/16, Ksh. 405,812,263 has been set aside for the sector. For 2016/17 and 2017/18 the projections are Ksh. 426,102,876 and Ksh. 447,408,020, respectively.
• To facilitate the coordination of programs within the department
• To improve crop production and enhance food security
• To provide requisite skills and knowledge on agricultural technologies
• To increase land under irrigation agriculture and also reclaim land for agricultural use
• To increase the value of agricultural products and also improve farmers access to cheap credit facility
• To increase fish production and also improve the value of fish products
• To increase livestock production and enhance food security
- 7 tractors have been purchased for every sub-county to boost mechanization in agriculture.
- 10 million has been set aside to boost agricultural intiateves through the agricultural fund.
- Through the input access program, maize and sorghum seeds as well as fertilizer have been distributed to vulnerable members of the community in all the 35 wards.
- Availability of fertile soils, numerous water sources for irrigation and favourable climatic conditions with readily available market to sustain cotton, cassava, rice, maize, groundnuts, fruits and tobacco farming, respectively.
- Availability of large rivers/lakes offering potential for the construction of commercial fish ponds to support fish farming
- Availability of vast land suitable for large scale farming
- Setting up of a fish processing and filleting company at Marenga beach in Budalang’i sub-county, currently with a production capacity of 34,680 kgs annually
- Construction of meat and fish products cold storage facilities
- Reviving of Muluanda Cotton Ginnery to boost large scale production of cotton in the county
- Construction of modern warehouses for storage of rice and maize products
- Construction of poultry and pork processing facilities to increase the annual production from 450,620 Kgs and 16,000 Kgs respectively
- Establishment of a bicycle and motorcycle assembly plant to meet the growing demand of the already huge market
- Potential for power generation via Nzoia, Sio, Yala & Malakisi rivers, respectively
- Large scale commercial production of bricks and tile manufacturing, considering the good soils necessary for the business
- Potential for construction of an animal feeds factory using fish bi-products