Ksh771M project launched to boost cassava production in Kenya
By Vera Shawiza / July 14, 2017
Over 28,000 smallholder farmers in the root and tuber crop production value chain in Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Siaya, Busia, Kitui and Kilifi counties will benefit from KSh 771 million from the European Union programme that seeks to empower them to increase income, create more employment and improve food security.
The Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) launched the project in a move to distribute improved cassava tuber varieties the farmers through a community based seed system.
The tuber is also set to be adapted by farmers from regions across the country which have majorly been concentrating on maize and wheat farming for a living so as to promote mixed farming. These areas have experienced acute attack of army worms too which will lead to low yields during harvest season.
Maize and wheat production has consistently fallen below domestic demand, exposing the country to the volatile export market.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett noted that with the effects of climate change, root and tuber crops will offer choices and opportunities as they have higher tolerance threshold to a variety of stresses such as water and heat, water salinity and emergence of new pests.
The five-year project is funded by the European Union (EU) under the Strengthening the Competitiveness of the Cassava Value Chain in Kenya programme.