Amaranth threshing made easier as KALRO donates thresher machines to farmers
Fatuma Omari, Rachael Kisilu andReuben Ruttoh (KALRO-Katumani Pictures by John Ayemba)
Image above: Rachael Kisilu, Dr Keya, The Secretary Of Chanika, The Chairperson and the Sister-in-Charge of CDOK during the handing over ceremony of the thresher to CDOK in Kitui
KALRO under the auspices of the Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASAL) project has donated 2 amaranth threshers to Muthetheni in Machakos, and the Catholic Diocese of Kitui in Kitui (CARITAS). In brief ceremonies held at Muthetheni and at CARITAS in Kitui on 12 July 2017, the national Coordinator of ASAL Dr George Keya and the Project Component Coordination (PCC) of KALRO-Katumani Rachael Kisilu, on behalf of KALRO/ASAL-APRP donated the threshers to the groups. The Muthetheni group has a membership of 24 members but reaches many other interested farmers while the Catholic Diocese reaches more than 20 groups covering more than 19,000 farmers in Kitui county.
At both sites, a sample farmers were trained on how to use the manual and motorised threshers.
Dr Keya said that although the groups were given the threshers due to there uptake of amaranth technologies, they should encourage more farmers to increase acreage under the crop with an aim of commercialisation. This would, he said, make it possible for the groups to attract more farmers and the youth, for whom it would also create employment.
Rachael Kisilu said that with increased income, the groups would be able to invest in assets.
Both the groups thanked KALRO for the donation and said that the threshers would largely contribute towards the groups’ other activities including livestock feeding and processing amaranth to various products for groups’ members. Towards commercialisation, the groups will now increase production of processed amaranth products.