KENYA TO ENCOURAGE CULTIVATION OF INDIGENOUS DROUGHT-RESISTANT CROPS

By Collins Anampiu

NAIROBI, The Kenyan government will spend 260 million shillings (about 2.55 million US dollars) on programmes to encourage farmers to plant indigenous, drought-tolerant crops in counties adversely affected by climate change.

The programmes target Gwassi in Homabay County, the Lower Yatta in Kitui County, Loitoktok in Kajiado County, Nyando in Kisumu County, Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit and Kajiado counties.

Speaking at the launch of the programme here Monday, Environment Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Professor Judi Wakhungu said the money would be channelled through the National Environmental Management Agency (NEMA).

Farmers in the counties concerned would be encouraged to plant pumpkins, sorghum, butternut, cassava, millet, green grams, sorghum, Amaranthus, which is popularly known locally as terere, water melons among other crops.

The government will give the farmers certified seeds of the drought-tolerant crops.

The money is part of the 10 million US dollars which the government has secured from the United Nations through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

Kenya becomes the fifth nation in Africa and 12th in the world to receive such funds to combat the negative impact of climate change.

Professor Wahkungu said The NEMA would work with the Coast Development Authority, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute and the Tana and Athi River Development Authority (TARDA) to implement the programme.

Source: KBC