Corona virus is now becoming real in the minds of Kenyans. It is not a joke that this pandemic disease is leading the country to a wrong direction since the number of confirmed cases keep on increasing day by day. This might force the government soon or later to lock down the country as a way of preventing the disease from spreading any more.
Here at farmer.co.ke, we do not want to leave anything to chance. therefore, we saw a need of sharing or rather informing farmers out there of how they should prepare and do in case of a country lock down.
What is lock-down?
Lock down means preventing people from leaving an area. Locking down the country means that everybody within the country is expected to stay indoors or within your compound. No movement at all outside.
How lock down can affect a farmer.
This is not an easy thing as it will change life style of a farmer and anybody else within the area. It will affect all farmers since they can not access;
- Farm to work on your project especially if your farm is some kilometers away.
- Market to sell their farm produce.
- Shop to buy farm medicine,feeds and crops seeds
I am going to use my best knowledge to advice farmers on how they should prepare to avoid unnecessary surprises. This should also help you as a farmer to minimize losses during this challenging season.
How you should prepare as a farmer.
All farmers should be very careful during this season. Some of the farm projects are long term and therefore you should prepare well to avoid messing up with your farm projects.
Below are some of the things that you should do;
1. Do your projects within your compound.
This is the time that you should bring your farm project near to you or rather within your compound. I know most farmers are renting places outside their compound. This will be very tricky because in a lock down situation, you can not move out of your home or compound.
So if possible, please do you farm projects in a place where you can easily access in case of a lock down. This will make it easy for you to manage your project.
If you are a serious farmer and you do not have enough space where you live, consider constructing your temporary shelter in the place where you do your farm project. Especially for dairy farming, poultry farming and any other project that needs close supervision.
2. Accommodate Your Workers.
If you have an already running farm project that you can not manage alone in case of a lock down, then you need to plan to accommodate your farm workers. Look for a place they will be sleeping after daily duties and provide them with food.
In a season like this as a farmer, you do not have to worry much about how much profit you will make. You need to think of how you can sustain your farming career.
Consider maintaining it to avoid blunders that will make you to start from scratch after lock down. Remember that challenges you faced when you were starting out.
3. Buy enough farm medication.
Every farm project requires medication. Be it livestock or crops and even you and your workers.
So as the country situation goes towards lock down, make sure you stock enough medication in your farm. The type of the medication you should store depend your farm project.
If you do livestock farming, store medicine like antibiotics, vaccines, medicine for deworming and medicine that helps control parasites from the livestock. For crops buy pesticides e.t.c.
4. Prepare storage facilities.
Remember with lock down situation, you would not be able to access market for your farm projects. Also your customers will not access your far.
This means you will have nowhere to sell your your farm products. Therefore, the only option will be for you to store your farm products until the lock down is over. Storage depends on your farming category discussed below.
Cereals and grains storage.
If you are dealing with crops especially cereals and grains, make sure you have a good store where you will store them. Make sure rodents and storage pest have no access to your store.
The best ways to contral rodents and storage pest include;
- Temperature control
- Biological control.
Before you store, make sure to dry them properly.
Poultry product storage.
If you are dealing with poultry especially broilers, make sure that you have enough freezers to store them. Broilers farming is a very delicate project and therefore you need yo be very careful. If you store broiler meat well, it will last for weeks.
Eggs storage is very tricky, i suggest you use them at home because you can not store them for long. But for kienyeji eggs you can you them to produce more chickens.
Dairy product storage.
The main product from dairy farming is milk. Storing milk is not an easy job. If you produce a lot of milk, then you will have to buy coolers to store them as you wait to sell them after the possible lock down.
You can use preservatives. The possible period milk can last under good storage is 90 days.
5. Reliable vet or agronomist contacts.
In case of a lock down, your vet or agronomist will not access your farm in case of a problem. The best you you can get help from them is to make sure that you have their contacts.
Even though he or she would not be available physically, he will be able to guide you on the phone to do the right thing. This will be better than guess work.
In case of a lock down, there will be no need of you rushing to banks to withdraw money. In a situation like this there is no need of cash money.
Just make sure to consult your bank so that you can be able do money transfers using your phone. You need this because you will need to pay your vet or agronomist as a way of appreciating them. This will make them listen to you every other time that you need help.
7. Buy enough feeds.
Those those farmers who do dairy farming and poultry farming, make sure you have enough feeds for your animals.
Kindly to avoid later regrets, please consider doing the above. After lock down, there will be market, you customers will need you and life will just be normal.
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