Farmers across Embu County have received avocado and macadamia seedlings worth Sh5.4 million from the Ministry of Agriculture, in a program aimed at increasing the country’s tree cover and boost household incomes.
Speaking while distributing 6, 000 high yielding Hass avocados and 3, 000 macadamia seedlings in Siakago under the Greening Kenya Initiative, Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Ann Nyaga, said the Ministry had committed to make its contribution towards boosting the country’s tree cover through distribution of fruit trees seedlings.
The Government aims to plant 1.8 billion trees to achieve more than 10 percent tree cover by 2022, with all Government Ministries and Parastatals being required to set aside 10 percent of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budget for tree growing.
Being in the line of the Ministry in Agricultural matters, Ms Nyaga said the aim was not only to ensure the counties achieve the set tree cover target to combat effects of climate change, but also to assist farmers earn a living through sale of fruits.
“We are killing two birds with one stone by ensuring we mitigate issues of climate change, while at the same time giving farmers an extra source of income,” she said.
Due to their high global demand, the fruits have become lucrative export products besides being friendly to the environment unlike other trees known to deplete the environment, especially water sources and catchment areas.
The CAS at the same time reported that plans were underway early next year, to distribute certified rice, maize, green grams and bean seeds worth Sh8.3 million ahead of April’s long rains planting season.
Nyaga said the seeds to be distributed according to their suitability to various ecological zones will help boost food production and security in the country, as well as fetch maximum prices for farmers in the market due to their high quality.
By Samuel Waititu