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Preparations to revive the Kitui agricultural show and trade fair which stalled six years ago are in top gear.
The agricultural show will be held from July 27 to 29.
Kitui agriculture and livestock executive Stephen Kimwele told journalists on Tuesday that preparation have entered homestretch.
“Preparations for the revival of the Kitui Agricultural Show and Trade Fair are almost complete. The remaining work can only be put at 10 per cent as 90 per cent of the work in terms of infrastructure refurbishing has been accomplished,” he said.
Kimwele was addressing the media at Ithookwe Kitui Showground when he led members of the Kitui show organising committee in touring and inspecting the preparations.
This year’s show theme is ‘promoting climate smart agriculture and trade initiatives for sustainable food and nutrition security and economic growth’.
Up to Sh10 million has been put into rehabilitating vandalized infrastructure and sprucing up the show venue.
Kitui agriculture and livestock executive Stephen Kimwele at Ithookwe showground on Tuesday.
The Kitui show event has been on hold for six years and most infrastructure were dilapidated and some vandalised.
“We have managed to tarmac the show access road. All vandalised floodlights have been repaired, washroom refurbished and the perimeter fence built anew,” Kimwele said.
He said the show organising committee was working closely with the national government security personnel to ensure that showgoers and exhibitors are not exposed to any security threats.
“During the show days, we will have a sizeable number of uniformed police officers to man all corners of the showground with backing from the county enforcement officers,” Kimwele said.
“We are not leaving anything to chance in the wake of reported terrorism alerts and recent attacks in northern parts of Kenya. We are fully prepared and security will be tight.”
Kitui agriculture and fisheries chief officer Nelly Mutisya addressing members of the Kitui show organising committee at the Kitui Agricultural training centre on Tuesday.
Agriculture and fisheries chief officer Nelly Mutisya said they were aware that terrorists target places where multitudes gather.
“There will be round the clock security surveillance within and outside the showground. We are prioritising our people’s safety,” she said.
Kimwele also said there will be new agricultural and business lessons to be learned to boost food production and economic empowerment.
“There are diverse lessons to learn on modern agricultural practices and technologies. We are thus sending out an appeal to exhibitors to come in their numbers and acquire stands to showcase their wares, emerging technologies and expertise,” he said.
“We are talking smart agriculture because rain has become scarce and unreliable. It is time we thought about having a paradigm shift in the way we have been growing our crops.”
He said farmers should embrace new technology like growing crops in water retaining zai pits and irrigated agriculture and adopting growing of vegetable through the kitchen garden at homes using available water.
“Showgoers will learn on best animal husbandry trends and modern beekeeping methods where women can easily take part as opposed to the ways of yonder when it was a preserve for men,” he said.
Kitui agriculture and livestock executive Stephen Kimwele with members of the Kitui show organising committee when they toured and inspected preparation works at Kitui showgrounds on Tuesday.