poultry production
poultry production

Kenyan farmers are travelling both locally and abroad to learn technologies and practices that can help to improve their yields as many embrace commercial farming.

poultry production
poultry production

The farmers who keep dairy cows, poultry, bees and grow horticultural crops, among other things, are spending a fortune in the agri-tourism tours that are fast gathering pace in the East African nation.
Locally, the farmers are visiting established farms in groups where they pay a fee of between 5.3 U.S. dollars and 43 dollars to learn various agronomic practices.
The charges are offering new income streams for the established farmers.
However, while the local tours have been taking place for several years now, what is picking up fast are the tours abroad, with discerning farmers heading to Middle East, Europe and African countries to learn new technologies.
Israel, a giant in commercial agriculture has become a favorite destination for the Kenyan farmers.
Netherlands in Europe is attracting dozens of Kenyan farmers every year as they go to learn in particular dairy technologies that the country is famous for.
South Africa, Malawi, Egypt and Botswana are some of the African countries Kenyan farmers are flocking to learn how the nations have become breadbaskets.
“Kenyan farmers want to improve their farms by borrowing technologies that have worked elsewhere to grow crops and keep animals,” Carol Mugo, who runs Tech Farm Tours, an agri-tourism farm based in Nairobi told Xinhua.
Mugo has organized several agri-tourism trips in and out of Kenya, with the latest one being in Israel, where she took over 40 farmers to learn various technologies in the country.
“Kenyans are not very good at leisure tourism, the reason why as a country we have depended mainly on foreign tourists who have now fled due to increased terrorism activities. However, the farmers are willing to spend on agri-tourism,” she said.
Unlike leisure tourism where people go to various destinations to relax and enjoy themselves, in agri-tourism, the farmers visit different farms as well as leisure sites.
“Agri-tourism offers the best, we combine both learning and leisure, with the former taking a greater percentage. This is what is making our farmers pay for the tours,” she said.
The over 40 farmers were paying an average of 2,200 dollars for the seven-day trip.
“I paid the money because I wanted to better my farming skills. I would still pay for another trip as long as it is to a place where I can pick lessons to improve my farm,” said Chebelion, a tea farmer in Kericho.
Chebelion wants to diversify into dairy and poultry as fortunes in Kenya’s tea industry dwindles due to increased competition and falling global prices.
Mugo, who is organizing another trip to Netherlands, noted that agri-tourism is now the in-thing in Kenya, with the future looking brighter. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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