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
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.