The Director of Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Victor Wasike has expressed concern over the high level of malnutrition in Busia County.
Speaking at the Busia Agricultural Training Centre on Monday, Wasike disclosed that 25 out of every 1,000 children aged below five years were malnourished.
He attributed the prevailing situation to ignorance on the consumption of nowadays’, neglected fruits, like Guavas, goose, Rasp and strawberries, Jack fruit and bread fruit.
“Many people have a false notion that such fruits are for the poor in the society. We want these fruits back and people to consume them because of their nutritional values,” he said.
The director added that there was need to sensitise the residents on the importance of the fruits and called for their immediate cultivation.
Dr. Wasike advised the residents to consume indigenous fruits, instead of resorting to food supplements.
The County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr. Moses Osia said over 600,000 seedlings will be distributed to farmers across the county in the next few months.
“Busia has a lot of potential to grow indigenous crops in large numbers. The County Government has given 20, 000 more seedlings to support KALRO initiative,” he said.
He added that the government will have a model farm for assorted indigenous fruits at the local Agricultural Training College (ATC).
The forum saw the official launch of the distribution of over 10, 000 seedlings of neglected fruits to the residents.
By Salome Alwanda