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Archive for September 29th, 2013

Law Society of Kenya condemns killing of a lawyer

Posted by African Press International on September 29, 2013


Law society of Kenya Bungoma chapter chairman Andrew Kituyi has condemned the killing of Peter Wanyonyi, an advocate representing Musikari Kombo in a petition challenging the election of Moses Wetang’ula as the county’s senator in the March polls.

Speaking during a fund-raising for the slain lawyer,the chairman noted that Bungoma county has been experiencing attacks leaving residents suffer from serious injuries and some killed yet no explanations has been given by the government in its investigations despite our persistent inquiries.

Mr.Kituyi call upon the police to speed up the investigation in the murder of the advocate for the culprits linked to his death to be brought to justice.

He however cautioned Bungoma residents to remain calm for police to carry out investigations and called on the public to provide the officers with information leading to the murder suspects for their arrest.

He also warned the public, politicians and other leaders in the region to desist from speculative utterances of the advocate’s killing which would be harmful leading insecurity threats.

Police bosses in Bungoma have come under sharp criticism from area residents over the recent spate of killings in Bungoma.
residents  say that the security agents led by Bungoma county commissioner Mohamed Maalim and police commandant Charles Mutinda are not doing enough to install order and assure residents of security.

Meanwhile police in Bungoma have arrested three people of Somali origin before they deported them to Nairobi.According to police sources the three were arrested in Bungoma hotel after reports from the public.



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Kenya farming: Mr. Raphael Owaka from Kisumu County is able to generate income and provide decent life to his family

Posted by African Press International on September 29, 2013

  • By Maurice Alal

Most farmers in Nyanza region usually pay no heed to cassava farming activities but for Mr. Raphael Owaka from Kisumu County things are different because he is able to generate income and provide decent life to his family out of it.

Owaka, 56, a cassava farmer in Nyakach (formerly Nyando) District, states that he could have ventured into farming much earlier because of the sweet fruits that he has enjoyed since he ventured into cassava farming and stayed focused on the goal.

He says cassava farming especially the improved variety (MH95/0183) have provided him with self employment and a high reliable income to his family that has completely transformed his lifestyle together with that of his family.

Cassava farming can give you everything that you ever dreams to have in your life. I can now provide for my family whatever I desire,” says Owaka.

Owaka started cassava farming way back in 2004 soon after he resigned from his work to embark on Agricultural activities using modern farming technology which most farmers have all along been reluctant to embrace.

He lamented that cassava has different by-products such as starch, flour and cassava chips that are chopped using the cassava chip, starch extractor and miller for the flour. “Starch is used in secondary school to conduct practical and also as the libido activator especially for the old people,” he said.

Nyakach district has favorable climate for horticultural farming activities alongside Cassava but urged the farmers to diversify their Agricultural activities to enable the region produce enough crops for domestic use and excess for exportation now that Kisumu Airport has
been elevated to International status.

Owaka has prospered from his initial investment of only one tree of cassava which has the capacity to produce over 30 tubers compared to the present plot of an acre piece of land which has 4000 cassava trees. From this, he makes a profit of over shs.500, 000 every two

He sells a bag of cassava shs.1,000 and the produce from 1 acre piece of land fetches him not less than shs.1 million collectively annually. Cassava is a perennial crop that one is able to harvest for about 1 year before it may no longer bear tubers as expected.

The crop takes about 6 -8 months to bear tubers while in some parts of the country it takes a much shorter period depending on the climatic conditions of an area and how well the crop has been tendered.

Mr. Owaka is challenged farmers in Kisumu County and its environs to diversify farming activities and stop the traditional preference for maize, sorghum, beans and peas farming only but embrace cassava farming which has the potential to ensure Nyanza attains food

He, however, conducts various training on cassava husbandry to farmers within the Counties where the residents have shown interest in the hope of generating adequate income that could tremendously transform their lifestyle for the better.

“We should focus on farming instead of idling around waiting for famine relief from the Government. Kisumu County does not need relief food if local farmers redouble their efforts by engaging in serious Agricultural ventures using modern farming methods and irrigation,”
Owaka said.

He urged farmers to take advantage of the lake and river waters to irrigate their farms especially during the short rainy seasons. The training program has boosted his source of income, Owaka says, considering that he charges Shs 8,000 for every training he undertakes
which lasts for 2 months.

“We have also conducted farmers’ field school on cassava husbandry where participants are sensitized on the crop production,”Owaka revealed.

He further stated that so far over 1,000 beneficiaries have been trained and joined the cassava farmers associations, including Community Rehabilitation Environmental Protection (CREP) for which he is the coordinator.

In comparison with other types of farming, Owaka says cassava is cost-effective, not arduous and requires simple farm inputs than other crops.

Audrey Rolyne, a farmer trained by Owaka undertakes cassava growing of different varieties alongside bee keeping and concurred with his trainer that the cash crop has greatly helped him lower the cost of production while reaping maximum profit compared to dairy-farming for cattle and goats combined.

Rolyne says she quit her job as a cleaner to venture into farming activities where she grows cassava and now is the proud owner of one and a half-acre fully put under cassava farming that generates income which has comfortably sustained the family.

Mr. Owaka, however, pointed out that cassava farming can cost more than Shs. 50,000 but he has the advantage since it requires less farm inputs to kick-start it.

“For instance if you plant an acre piece of land you will require a total of 4,000 cassava cuttings with one cassava tree bearing over 30 tubers depending on the variety,” Owaka explained.

He says market for the cassava is readily available and during the harvesting days, vendors and local residents compete for his produce due to high quality of the crop.

Owaka says Government efforts to reduce poverty especially in rural areas could be given a major boost if cassava farming is adequately promoted and funded.

Many young people in Nyanza are facing a major challenge of unemployment yet many owned inherited land that lies idle. “If youths are empowered with skills and funded on the cassava, unemployment related challenges like high rate of crime can be reduced significantly,” he says.

Farming is the best investment that one can have in the region, he says, stating that you only need a piece of land where you grow the crop as it does not require a lot of capital like coffee or tea plantations.

Owaka urged the youth to acquire technical and vocational skills rather than idling around and be used by politicians to fight their wars. He hopes to provide employment opportunities to young people in the County by planting pawpaw, vegetables, passion fruits and water melon in another 2.5 acre piece of land.

Kisumu County Director of Agriculture, Joash Owiro pledged to give all the necessary support but challenged more farmers to help satisfy the growing population. According to the last year’s census results most locals are accustomed to dairy, maize, beans, groundnuts and sorghum farming.

The major concern raised by Owaka and Owiro is the low uptake of cassava farming but they remained optimistic that farmers in the area will steadily pick up by joining the production process.

Kisumu County can make major strides in terms of farming to curb the perennial food shortage in the area and particularly in Nyakach district apart from improving the region’s economy.

Farmers should stop politicking and seek assistance from the Government which is always ready to fund such farming initiatives to promote full exploitation of available potential and utilization of Kisumu International Airport.

“Why can’t horticultural farmers alongside those who undertake cassava farming work together to improve their socio-economic development and curb perennial food shortage in the County,” Owiro posed.


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