NAIROBI– The European Union is investing resources and funds amounting to more than 240 million shillings (about 2.4 million US dollars) to help farmers in Kenya’s Coast region to revive their cashew nut production which collapsed more than three decades ago.
Coast region was the leading producer of cashew nuts until the early 1990s when the industry collapsed leaving thousands of farmers in a devastated state. The majority of the cashew nut trees were cut down by the farmers who opted for alternative crops to survive.
Under a four-year programme, the EU is providing funds to Ten Senses, a Kenyan agricultural company, to supply more than one million cashe seedlings this year to farmers in Kilifi, Lamu and Kwale counties. In Kilifi, the county government has also committed itself to plant five million trees throughout the county beginning next week.
The Head of European Commission Delegation in Kenya, Stefano Dejack, said the project would address the hardships faced by the more than 100,000 farmers after the collapse of the cashew nut industry in Kilifi.
Speaking in Kilifi on Tuesday during the launch of the program at Eza Moyo village, he said the EU partnered member states Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia to help ensure the project’s success. Slovakia would be in charge of marketing the cashew nut products from the region while Hungary will deal with processing.
The Czech Republic and Poland would mainly deal with technical aspects and equipment which will be set up in Kilifi where 15,000 farmers will be involved in the project aimed at creating jobs and providing youth with ideas to venture into agriculture.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK