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HomeInternationalKENYAWhy Uasin Gishu Farmers Anticipate a Bumper Harvest This Year

Why Uasin Gishu Farmers Anticipate a Bumper Harvest This Year


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International Girl Child Day, African Girl and Education

Girl Day is celebrated every year on October 11 as an opportunity to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by girls around the world, especially in Africa, and the importance of providing them with quality education. In this article, we explore the Day's importance in the context of education in Africa, the challenges faced by girls, and initiatives aimed at improving their access to education. Education is a human right and the basis of personal and social development. However, African girls often face many barriers that prevent them from accessing education. These issues may be cultural, economic or political, but they all contribute to gender inequality in education. Girls' Day provides an opportunity to address these issues and work for gender equality in education.One of the most important problems faced by girls in Africa is early marriage and pregnancy. Cultural norms in many African societies dictate that girls should marry at a young age, often forcing them to drop out of school. Additionally, the lack of comprehensive sex education can lead to unintended pregnancies, further hindering their educational progress. Initiatives that raise awareness about the importance of delaying marriage and pregnancy until after completing their education are crucial.Another major obstacle is poverty. Many families in Africa struggle to meet basic needs, and education can be costly due to expenses like uniforms, books, and transportation. Girls are often the first to be withdrawn from school when a family faces financial constraints. To address this issue, scholarships, school donation programs, and affordable school supplies can help reduce the financial burden on families and support girls' education.Additionally, especially in rural areas, the distance to school will prevent girls from going to school. Unsafe travel and long distances can put them at risk. Building more schools and providing transportation closer to communities could help solve this problem. In many African countries, boys are expected to be encouraged in education and girls are expected to work within the family. It is important to change these attitudes and promote the value of girls' education. Social awareness programs and inclusive education programs that challenge stereotypes can play a key role.Child labor is another problem affecting girls. Many girls have to work to support their families, leaving little time for education. Government policies and international organizations can work to eliminate child labor and ensure girls have the opportunity to go to school.Unfortunately, conflicts and conflict in many parts of Africa have disrupted education and made it difficult for girls to access education. Efforts to build peace and improve education in post-conflict regions are critical to providing girls with a stable and safe learning environment.One of the best ways to improve educational opportunities for girls in Africa is to support and train female teachers. Many female teachers can act as role models and make it easier for girls to stay in school by creating an inclusive environment.Investing in girls' education in Africa has many long-term benefits. It can break the cycle of poverty, improve women's health, and promote gender equality. Girls who receive an education are more likely to make informed decisions about their health, family, and career. They are also more likely to become financially independent and contribute to their communities and economies. Several organizations, both local and international, are actively working to improve the education of girls in Africa. Plan International, UNICEF, and the Malala Fund are just a few examples. They provide resources, advocacy, and support to ensure that girls have equal access to quality education.In conclusion, Girl Child Day serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by girls in Africa when it comes to education. The challenges they face are many and include cultural barriers, financial constraints, and gender stereotypes. But through a combination of advocacy, policy change, and organizational efforts, progress can be made to ensure that girls receive a quality education just like boys. Investing in girls' education is not only a human rights issue but also a key driver of economic growth in Africa. This is something worth celebrating and encouraging on Girls' Day and every day.

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Farmers in Uasin Gishu county have high expectations of a bumper harvest this year. The North Rift County, often considered the country’s food basket, has renewed the country’s hope for food sufficiency and affordability after this year’s harvest which is coming up soon.

However, many questions are going on in everyone’s mind. Many people are asking what’s making this harvest season different from others. Well, there are a wide range of factors that have changed recently, hence giving farmers higher expectations this season.

One of the main factors is that the government has prioritised agriculture as a way to lower the cost of living. As promised during the campaigns, President William Ruto’s team rode on the lowering of the cost of living narrative, which saw them ascend to authority in the end.

After getting into office, President Ruto identified agriculture as the backbone of the country’s economy. Thus, he centred his plan to lower the cost of living on farming. However, he intended to deviate from the approach the previous administration had taken on agriculture and the cost of living.

According to President William Ruto, he wants to reduce the cost of living by subsidizing consumption not production. President Ruto looks at subsidising production by empowering farmers to produce more as a much more sustainable option that would have a long-term effect.

Therefore, President Ruto promised to do away with the subsidies on maize flour put by his predecessor. Instead, he opted to subsidise farm inputs to make production easier and more fruitful. The first step to achieving this was the rolling out of the fertiliser subsidy program.

Affordable cost of food will lead to peace and good governance will be seamless. No leader in the world wants to lead hungry people

Deputy President, Rigathi Gachagua.

The subsidy that has helped reduce the cost of fertiliser from Ksh. 6500 to Ksh. 3500 has been effective, to say the least. Maize flour is widely consumed in Kenya, thus, the government’s fertiliser distribution focused more on farmers from maize-planting areas like the North Rift.

Uasin Gishu is among the counties that have significantly benefited from the fertiliser subsidy program. As of June this year, the county had taken the lead in the number of bags redeemed. Uasin Gishu farmers had taken about 402,366 bags of the subsidised fertiliser.

However, this was just from the government’s initial Ksh. 3.5 billion funding released. It saw farmers from 40 counties buy close to 2 million bags of the subsidised fertiliser. This enabled most farmers to plant their crops at a much lower cost with the hope of higher profits.

Last month, the government stepped up its efforts to reduce the cost of living through subsidising fertiliser. According to President William Ruto’s announcement, the government has subsidised the fertiliser by a further Ksh. 1000 meaning a bag will now retail at Ksh. 2500.

President Ruto announces new subsidised fertiliser prices

“At this price, we expect a significantly higher uptake of fertiliser. Since fertiliser is the game-changer of agricultural productivity, this should translate to higher production in the next planting season,” said President Ruto as he announced the second phase of the program.

According to the Head of State, the new price was still high, making the government reduce it further. “In the long rainy season, most farmers used one bag of fertiliser per acre. Data shows that if you double the fertiliser per acre, you’ll get more yield of between 12 and 25 bags of maize,” he said.

President Ruto Speaks at State House, Nairobi.

“Our target is to produce 61 million bags annually between this season and 2027. Long rains usually account for 80 percent of a season’s production. From the long rain season alone, an estimated yield of 44 million bags is expected, compared to last year’s 32 million bags. As a result of effectively administered strategic interventions, we are definitely on course to meet national demand in full this year,” added President Ruto.

It is this commitment by the government that’s giving farmers hope for a better future. With the government already taking actionable steps in its quest to transform agriculture, farmers in Uasin Gishu and other counties are expecting bigger and better harvests.


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