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  • Farmers to get 500,000 coconut, cashew seedlings

    May 24th, 2019

    The government will distribute more than six million high-quality seedlings to farmers across the country in the next three weeks. Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri on Wednesday that each farmer will receive five seedlings of coconut, cashew nut, macadamia, mango, banana tissue culture, avocado or other seedlings based on their region. At the Coast, farmers will receive more than 300,000 cashew nut and 200,000 coconut seedlings to revive the industries that collapsed decades ago. "In this rainy season we shall distribute more than 2.6 million seedlings and during the short rains in October, November and December we will distribute another four million seedlings,” Kiunjuri said.

    He spoke at Serena Hotel in Mombasa where he met the National Assembly Agriculture committee. At the Coast, the seedlings are produced at the government’s farm at Mtwapa under the Agriculture Food Authority and at Bura farm in Tana River under the National Irrigation Board.

    The government started importing hybrid coconut seeds from India in 2017. The seeds, which are now being developed in Kenya, are superior to the indigenous East African tall coconut in quality and quantity of copra production per nut. They mature in two-and-a-half years, compared to indigenous trees that take an average of six years to mature. Production per tree per year is 250 nuts compared to 50 nuts for the indigenous trees. The ministry has also started water harvesting in this rainy season to help smallholder farmers and households. The ministry has also started building small dams and water pans in 19 counties to help small farmers irrigate their farms and end being rain-dependent.