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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya to wean off maize reliance with crop diversification: official 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to promote crop diversification as an overreliance on maize corrodes the country’s food security, an official said Friday.

Anne Onyango, Agriculture Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, told a media briefing that the government is in consultation to develop policies to promote production of millet, sorghum, cassava, potato and rice.

She said Kenya faces a perennial shortage of the staple crop maize, forcing the country to import from neighbors and the international market.

Onyango noted that most of Kenya is arid or semi-arid and therefore optimum crop production requires irrigation. She also blamed the low rice production on a lack of varieties that can grow without the need for irrigation.

Onyango also said production of potato, the country’s second most important crop, has been hampered as the varieties available to farmers are susceptible to fungal diseases.

The Kenyan government is working with research institutions to develop disease-tolerant potato varieties to encourage production of the crop, according to Onyango.

             

 

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