PS Boga launches distribution of one million seedlings to coastal counties - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 7 November 2020

PS Boga launches distribution of one million seedlings to coastal counties

 

The national government has launched the distribution of one million seedlings to the coastal counties to help increase food security.

Agriculture Principal Secretary Hamadi Boga said the seedlings will be distributed to 68,000 small scale farmers at the Coast.

He spoke on Friday at the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation in Matuga, Kwale county.

Boga said the farmers were going to receive 500,000 seedlings of coconuts, 400, 000 of cashew nuts, 20,000 of Passion. The rest will be oranges.

Boga said majority of the coconuts and cashew nut trees were of age and needed to be replaced to improve food production.

“The main problem why we have lost the nuts sector is because a huge percentage of trees are very old and of poor quality,” he said.

Almost 10 million nut trees have become redundant.

The PS said by getting rid of the poor yielding crops, the coastal counties and the rest will get an opportunity to effectively revive coconut and cashew nut sectors.

He said substituting the old crops is one way of resuscitating the coconut and cashew nut industry.

Currently, the coastal counties are faced with a shortage of coconut trees due to the high demand for nuts in Tanzania.

Boga urged farmers to adopt new farming methods to expedite the growth of both food and cash crops.

He said poor agricultural practices have resulted in the dwindling yields and losses.  

"Tto evade further losses farmers should seek required information on the appropriate farming techniques," he said.

The PS advised grower to engage in active farming and shun inactive small scale cultivation.

"Let’s do serious farming. Having few maize, mango and cashew nut trees is not enough. Have at least 65 seedlings per acre to get great yields."

 The PS encouraged the farmers to form small registered groups and join cooperatives to help them identify good markets and loans for empowerment.

Kalro crops and research deputy director-general Felister Makini said Kenya has not yet become food secure.

She said the government and the local farmers need to extensively rely on the scientific information provided for them to maximise food production.

“We are continuing to conduct various research on how we can give data on the best agricultural data and we hope the government will make good use of them," she said.

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