Farmers to get Sh260m for drought-tolerant crops

Monday February 1 2016

Environment Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu at a past event. The government will spend 260 million on programmes that will encourage farmers to plant indigenous drought-tolerant crops. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By VERAH OKEYO
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The government will spend Sh260 million on programmes that will encourage farmers to plant indigenous drought-tolerant crops in counties adversely affected by climate change.

The programmes target Gwassi in Homa Bay County, Lower Yatta in Kitui, Loitoktok in Kajiado, Nyando in Kisumu, Wajir, Garissa and Marsabit.

Farmers in those counties will be encouraged to plant pumpkins, sorghum, butternut, cassava, millet, green grams, sorghum, Amaranthus, popularly known as terere, and watermelons, among other crops.

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

The money is part of a $10million fund the government 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 the fund to combat climate change.

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

Prof Wakhungu said Nema would work with the Coast Development Authority, Kenya Forestry Research Institute and Tana and Athi River Development Authority (TARDA).

Eight other, smaller organisations drawn from humanitarian groups such as the Kenya Red Cross will also be involved in the project.