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Covid-19: How to stay safe during planting season

By Grace Chomba

A new planting season means that large and small scale farmers will be hiring workers to help with some farming activities.

Well, this planting season is different with the ever increasing number of Covid-19 cases. Already, farmers are unsure how they will change the dwindling fortunes of agribusiness.

The planting season has come at a point when Kenyans have been asked to stay at home to minimise the spread of the virus. It might be hard for farmers who engage the services of daily workers from different households.

To aid in containing the virus spread while still continuing with smooth farming activities, here are a few guidelines one should follow.

Social distancing

In the farm, ensure the workers are reduced by maybe a half. You can also divide them into different shifts to abide by the social distancing rule. This will help reduce social interaction between workers by maintaining two metres distance from one another.

Ensure your workers have been given a clean bill of health before hiring them.

Hygiene

Provide the workers with the recommended personal protection equipment such as face masks as they reduce the chance of one contracting the virus.

Provide plenty of water and soap to ensure the workers wash their hands regularly as scientists have pointed out that regular hand washing can help keep the virus at bay.

Also ensure the workers wear protective gears such as gloves, face masks and gumboots to avoid contaminating the farm tools and equipment.

Avoid sharing farming tools and unauthorised people should not be allowed on the farm.

Farm tools such as pangas, jembes and spades should be washed before and after use to prevent the spread of the virus and other diseases on the farm.

Farm equipment should be handled by a specific person since the virus can survive on different surfaces for varied periods of time.

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