The Unexplored Treasure in Finger Millet Farming

By Vera Shawiza / July 1, 2016 | 9:52 am




The agricultural sector is the backbone of the Kenya’s economy. The sector directly contributes 24 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 27 percent of GDP indirectly through linkages with manufacturing, distribution and other service related sectors.

Approximately 45 percent of Government revenue is derived from agriculture and the sector contributes over 75 percent of industrial raw materials and more than 50 percent of the export earnings. The sector is the largest employer in the economy, accounting for 60 percent of the total employment. Over 80 percent of the population, especially living in rural areas, derive their livelihoods mainly from agricultural related activities.

The agro-grain processing sub-sector is one of the leading and well-established industries and it includes major cereal foods such as maize, wheat, rice, sorghum, millet and barley among others. In the recent years, the overall sector has seen an increase in production and area under crop for all the grains, with the exception of millet, which though had an increase in area under crop cultivation, experienced a drop.

Millet is a nutritious, high-calcium content food. Recent statistics indicate that 50 percent of the total millet grain production is pearl millet, 30 percent proso/golden and fox tail millet and 10 percent finger millet. The remaining 8 species are of little economic importance and account for only 10 percent of the world millet production.

Millet production is concentrated in the drier part of the country, owing to its drought tolerance. The types of millet grown in Kenya include bulrush, finger, foxtail, and proso. These are grown mainly for domestic consumption. Millet is mainly grown in the Central, Western, South Rift and some coastal areas of Kenya.

Finger millet is in high demand in Kenya. It is good for infant feeding, special dishes for the sick and for special purposes among some people It, therefore, fetches a good price in the market. Yields can be improved by planting improved Varieties and giving good care to the crop. This is one crop that if well invested in, can end up generating a lot of income.

Finger millet is a versatile grain that can be used in different types of foods, many of which are in the traditional group. Despite the fact that most of such traditional foods had earlier on been neglected, they are currently being embraced greatly due to their nutritious benefits. Suh foods include porridge, bread and even beverages.

A 90kg bag of finger millet currently retails at Sh.7,200 in the country. It is a good indication that more farmers need to embrace this crop so as to ensure that there are a variety and plenty of it in the market. Apart from selling it locally, the cereal can be exported to other countries in processed form.





About Vera Shawiza

Vera Shawiza is Soko Directory’s in-house journalist. Her zealous nature ensures that sufficient and relevant content is generated for the Soko Directory website and sourcing information from clients is easy as smooth sailing.Vera can be reached at: (020) 528 0222 or Email: info@sokodirectory.com

View other posts by Vera Shawiza


More Articles From This Author







Trending Stories










Other Related Articles










SOKO DIRECTORY & FINANCIAL GUIDE



ARCHIVES

2020
  • January 2020 (272)
  • February 2020 (310)
  • March 2020 (390)
  • April 2020 (321)
  • May 2020 (336)
  • June 2020 (329)
  • July 2020 (49)
  • 2019
  • January 2019 (253)
  • February 2019 (216)
  • March 2019 (285)
  • April 2019 (254)
  • May 2019 (272)
  • June 2019 (251)
  • July 2019 (338)
  • August 2019 (293)
  • September 2019 (306)
  • October 2019 (313)
  • November 2019 (362)
  • December 2019 (320)
  • 2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (219)
  • March 2018 (278)
  • April 2018 (225)
  • May 2018 (238)
  • June 2018 (178)
  • July 2018 (256)
  • August 2018 (249)
  • September 2018 (256)
  • October 2018 (287)
  • November 2018 (284)
  • December 2018 (185)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (194)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (205)
  • July 2017 (190)
  • August 2017 (195)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (235)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (165)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (190)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (245)
  • June 2016 (182)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (248)
  • September 2016 (234)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (243)
  • December 2016 (153)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (166)
  • April 2015 (108)
  • May 2015 (116)
  • June 2015 (120)
  • July 2015 (148)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (188)
  • October 2015 (169)
  • November 2015 (173)
  • December 2015 (207)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011
    2010
    2009
    2008
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    2003
    2002
    2001
    2000
    1999
    1998
    1997
    1996
    1995
    1994
    1993
    1992
    1991
    1990
    1989
    1988
    1987
    1986
    1985
    1984
    1983
    1982
    1981
    1980
    1979
    1978
    1977
    1976
    1975
    1974
    1973
    1972
    1971
    1970
    1969
    1968
    1967
    1966
    1965
    1964
    1963
    1962
    1961
    1960
    1959
    1958
    1957
    1956
    1955
    1954
    1953
    1952
    1951
    1950