“To secure our food we must not only rely on being pastoralists as a county but shift to agriculture especially growing vegetables and fruits; income and food security” said Giuseppe De Bac, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO) Project Manager, West Pokot County.
Mr. Giuseppe today paid a courtesy call at the governor’s office and to keep him up to date on FAO’s projects and its impacts on West Pokot farmers. The projects in the county are aimed at creating a more spirited and dynamic agricultural region and increase food security for West Pokot residents that was once a ‘hunger stricken’ area.
The Governor Prof. Lonyangapuo was very appreciative to the organization for choosing to work with West Pokot County farmers who were once considered as cattle rustlers. “Our people are hardworking and able to do even farming. They can now grow fruits and vegetables thereby sustaining themselves; eradicate hunger in the county” he said. “I am passionate about unlocking the county’s agricultural potential.”
The governor also pledged to continue working with FAO in aligning the farmers along the permanent rivers to irrigate the fruit nurseries and assign an officer that will report directly to him on the farmers’ progress.
From Chepareria to Ortum, Marich to Sigor to Masol and Lomut, Kacheliba to Alale and Kabichbich to Lelan, temperate fruits like strawberries, almonds, apples, raspberries and blueberries and other fruits like papaya and mangoes have changed the locals lives in terms of income and food security.
New on the list of farming is the pepper farming that has really attracted the residents’ interest especially in parts of Sebit, Sigor and Lomut. Approximately 145 pepper farmers have been contracted by Lafattoria Company based in Coast County to farm and dry the pepper for export to Italy.