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Drought resistant seeds to boost arid farming

By Antony Gitonga | October 5th 2020

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) is in the process of developing drought-resistant seeds varieties that will be distributed to Arid and Semi-Arid (Asal) areas across the country.

The move will see counties that have predominantly depended on relief food given different seeds that are resistant to harsh weather conditions in a bid to boost food production.

Already Kalro has come up with several maize varieties that have been developed through modern technologies that will be distributed to the counties for planting.

According to Kalro Director-General Eliud Kireger, the initiative was part of wider plans to relieve counties known as food baskets while diversifying on new and modern varieties.

Kireger said Asal counties had the potential to become the next frontiers of food production if supported in new farming technology.

He termed the changes in climate coupled with global warming as a challenge that required all sectors to work together to make sure Kenyans had been fed on healthy and available food.

Kireger said a study conducted by Kalro indicated that the soil in Asal counties was fertile and only required water to produce food.

“We are planning to introduce irrigation to these counties that account for 80 per cent of the country and this will herald a new beginning in food production,” he said.

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Kireger was addressing the Press during a meeting with farmers and extension officers from Asal counties on the new technological changes they intend to make at Kalro station in Naivasha.   

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