Monday, September 17, 2012

N’garua farmers attend Nyeri ASK show

By Bett Kipsang’

The thirst for information and new knowledge, saw thirteen farmers from Sipili sponsor themselves to attended the Nyeri National Agricultural Society of Kenya (A.S.K) show. Sipili stakeholders forum; an umbrella development body organized the trip that saw six women and seven men contribute fare and hired a Nissan Matatu to ferry them. Their sole objective was to learn from the rich display of information at Kabiruini showgrounds. This year’s theme for ASK shows was "Enhancing technology in agriculture and industry for food security and national growth."  

 Gauging from the conversations farmers had in the vehicle on their  way back, i am convinced that the trip to the show grounds will have a lasting positive impact on the participants. 

The Nyeri Agricultural show took place between 12th and 15th Sept 2012. It is one of the National shows organised by  A.S.K. The Central Kenya (Nyeri) National Show was started in 1968 at Ruringu Stadium, it was later moved to the new Showground in Kabiruini in 1997. 

Being centrally located in the Central Kenya region, the show was elevated to National Show status in 2004 to cover Nyeri, Nyandarua, Kirinyaga, Murang’a and Kiambu counties.

The show was attended by 71 exhibitors who included stakeholders in the following sectors; Agriculture, Livestock, Horticulture, Tourism, Beekeeping, Transport and Communication, Agro Industries and Financial Institutions among others. The latter showcased their products and services to thousands of participants drawn from all over East Africa. See more exhibitors on the link;

Motor Bike fitted with water pump
There were unique technologies one of them being the use of motor bikes ‘‘commonly referred to as Boda Boda’’ to pump water into farms for irrigation. You no longer need to purchase  a water pump. You just need small gadget which can be fixed on the Motor bike’s engine and the work is done. Unlike the water pump, motor bike can be used for other activities other than pumping water.

The dairy sector was a source of inspiration for Mr. Peter Muturi. He was amazed to see a cow which can produce as much as 50 Kilograms of milk per day. Most of the farmers had never seen a cow capable of producing up to sixty litres of milk per day. ‘‘Am going to buy a cow and start upgrading to the highest pedigree level’’, said Muturi. He recounted that there were a lot of pasture back home especially during  rainy seasons as now. Milk fetches very high prices in Sipili almost throughout the year.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) put up impressive performance that saw the varsity excel in the various themes of the show.

Among notable research projects that are generating great interest at the University stand include; rice production using reduced amounts of water, a simple and affordable capillary wick irrigation kit designed to increase food production at household levels while other scientists at the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences are conducting studies aimed at providing a cure for snakebites rampant in Kenya.

Other interesting inventions at the exhibition include a multi-purpose energy saver machine developed by a second year student of mechanical engineering, Ms. Sarafina Maina that is capable of performing up to ten different functions at the same time. The machine can be used as a water boiler, a cooker, domestic water heater, and for baking among its other functions.

In his speech President Kibaki directed that a technical team be formed to investigate a new viral strain disease that has wiped out the maize crop in some parts of the country.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) stand has emerged the best in two categories scooping top awards.

The IEBC stand took position one in the information and communication category and was also declared the best state corporation in theme interpretation. 

Curious members of the public are flocking to the IEBC stand to inquire on various electoral issues. IEBC staff took the opportunity to educate visitors on Biometric Voter Registration (BVR), elective positions in the next general elections, political parties and the use of information technology in the electoral process.

ASK generated revenue to run the show through charging exhibitors between 40,000 and 30,000 for large and small stand respectively. Adults paid Kshs.200, while children paid - Kshs.150 at the gate. Special Parties paid  Kshs.150 for Adult and Kshs.100 for children.


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