Kenya’s French beans face new stringent checks in the EU market
French beans from Kenya destined for the European Union will be subjected to more stringent checks.
Hosea Machuki, the chief executive of Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), said the produce will undergo more physical checks effective end of May.
“FPEAK would like to bring to your attention that following a meeting of the European Commission held recently and subsequent publication in the official journal of the EU, Kenyan beans will be subjected to a 10 per cent frequency of identity and physical checks effective May 27,” he said in a letter to members.
Machuki said that the decision by EU was due to high frequency of non-compliance of the Kenyan beans with the relevant requirements provided.
County moves to revive pyrethrum farming, boost avocado growers
The Nakuru county government is working on a multimillion-shilling programme that seeks to revive the pyrethrum sector and boost avocado farming.
Chief officer in charge of agriculture Joel Kibet said the county government has started distributing avocado and pyrethrum seedlings to farmers.
“We have given out 173,000 avocado seedlings to 10,000 farmers, each of whom received 17 seedlings. We are concentrating on avocado because of the rainy season,” said Kibet.
Kibet added that they are also giving about 10 million pyrethrum seedlings. “Each farmer will get about 5,500 seedlings to plant on a quarter-acre,” he said.
The main pyrethrum growing areas in the region include Molo, Kuresoi, Naivasha and parts of Subukia.
“We want to revive the cash crop and empower the hundreds of farmers who are ready to engage again in this farming,” said Kibet.
Some 243,711 hectares and 71,416 are under food and cash crop farming respectively in Nakuru.
Kalro working on cassava plant resistant to brown streak disease
The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) has moved to introduce a cassava variety that is resistant to brown streak disease.
Kalro has applied to the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) for environmental release – open field cultivation – and later the market of genetically modified cassava that is resistant to the viral disease, which is particularly damaging to plants across East Africa.
The development follows years of research and assessment by Kalro in laboratories, greenhouses and confined field trials.
“The authority, together with relevant regulatory agencies and independent experts, will start a science-based review process to assess the human, livestock, and environmental safety of the resistant cassava and public comments are welcome,” said Prof Douglas Miano, the principal investigator at the Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa Plus (VIRCA Plus) Project, Kenya.
The new crop will increase cassava yield as a result of increased root quality and harvest, said Dr Catherine Taracha, the centre director at Kalro-Kabete.
County to distribute Irish potato seeds to 3,000 farmers
More than 3,000 farmers will benefit from a potato growing programme in Taita-Taveta County.
Agriculture executive Davis Mwangoma said they will in the next weeks distribute 60,000 kilogrammes of potato seeds to farmers.
“We are targeting to distribute 1,200 50kg bags. The distribution will kick off very soon," he said.
Investing in the potato sector, he said, will enable farmers to generate income. Currently, the county produces 40 tonnes of potatoes annually.
Mwangoma said the department is targeting all high-altitude areas in Wundanyi, Mwatate and Voi sub counties.
Farmers in Wundanyi, Mbale, Werugha, Kishushe, Mgange, Chawia, Wusi/Kishamba, Bura, Sagalla, Rong'e and Wongonyi areas are expected to benefit from the project.
“Potato farming has better returns compared to the other types of farming. The project aims at increasing production of this crop because the demand is high,” he said.
He observed that if the project succeeds, then it would adequately boost food nutrition and incomes in the area.