By Kepher Otieno
Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) has rolled out Sh200 million soya bean farming to improve food security.
The firm’s Managing Director, Kabok Aguko, said they had partnered with Japan International Corporation Agency (Jica) to promote large-scale soya bean farming.
Already, the project is going on in 17 counties and some farmers have switched to growing the crop to tap its rich economic potential as an alternative source of food.
“We have also embarked on aggressive campaign in Nyanza and Western counties to improve the soya bean production and our efforts are paying off,” he said during an interview with The Standard on Tuesday.
Farmers in Kisumu, Migori, Bungoma, Busia, Trans Nzoia and Kakamega counties, who for many years have been relying on sugarcane and maize, are now diversifying.
This is why LBDA in collaboration with Jica have retreated to training farmers interested in growing soya to increase their production output.
Currently, Kenya imports more than 50,000 metric tonnes of soya beans and to save foreign exchange, increased local production was the way to go.? “The savings in foreign exchange will contribute significantly to the national economic growth if well harnessed,” said Aguko.
Jica has sent a trainer to LBDA to specifically spearhead mobilisation of farmers to grow the beans.
The attaché, Ms Tanaka Yukari, based in Migori, has helped LBDA improve the lives of farmers in the region through training on value addition.
Soya is very rich in protein and is a globally recognised pre-packaged meal for humans and a source of protein for animal feeds around the world. Soya is also the main component of some processed foods and supplements such as soy meat, soy flour, soymilk, soy oil and confectioneries.