The national government has launched the distribution of one million seedlings to the coastal counties to help increase food security.
Agriculture Principal Secretary Hamadi Boga said the seedlings will be distributed to 68,000 small scale farmers at the Coast.
Speaking at the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation in Matuga, Kwale county, Boga said the farmers were going to receive 500,000 seedlings of coconuts, 400, 000 of cashew nuts, 20,000 of Passion and the rest oranges. Majority of the coconuts and cashew nut trees were of age and needed to be replaced to improve food production, Boga said.
“The main problem why we have lost the nuts sector is because a huge percentage of trees are very old and of poor quality,” he said. Almost 10 million nut trees have become redundant.
The PS said by getting rid of the poor yielding crops, the coastal counties and the rest will get an opportunity to effectively revive coconut and cashew nut sectors. He said substituting the old crops is one way of resuscitating the coconut and cashew nut industry.
Currently, the coastal counties are faced with a shortage of coconut trees due to the high demand for nuts in Tanzania. He urged farmers to adopt new farming methods to expedite the growth of both food and cash crops.
He said poor agricultural practices have resulted in the dwindling yields and losses.