Egerton University unveils new high-yielding groundnut variety

John Supeiyo, Research Assistant Agro-Science Park (L) and Serah Njambi, Secretary, Directorate of Marketing and Resource Mobilization Centre (C) from Egerton University shows a client seedling innovations at KALRO-NARL Kabete centre, Nairobi County [Nanjinia Wamuswa, Standard]

A new groundnut variety developed by Agro-Science Park at Egerton University is tipped to offer farmers double farmers’ produce and incomes.

John Supeiyo from Egerton Agro-Science Park says the new Ndovu variety will be used to produce foods, manufacturing of oils, biofuels and animal feeds. It takes 4-5 months to mature.

“We are in the process of commercialising Ndovu, our latest groundnut variety that is a game changer in groundnut farming. Unlike the normal groundnuts where farmers harvest on average 800kg per acre, Ndovu yields 1.5 tonnes per acre. This is set to increase farmers’ production and sales, thereby putting more money in their pockets,” he said.

Mr Supeiyo was speaking to farmers during the recent Joint Mkulima Open Week Exhibition at Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation, Kabete.

Egerton University was one of the exhibitors at the event themed Catalysing Sustainable Agriculture through the transformation of climate-smart technologies, innovation and management practices.

Mr Supeiyo said Ndovu was crossbred from the local groundnuts that are small in size to come up with a new larger and high-yielding variety.

It is best suited to hot and dry areas. He said the University has already contracted and working with farmers in Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and Turkana counties.

“The results we have seen with farmers in the three counties is a great motivation to us as developers. It is a reason we have embarked on a path to educate farmers to embrace the new variety, and they will reap more,” he explained.

Seeds cost Sh350 per kilo. Mr Supeiyo said the seeds are not yet available in agrovet shops, but farmers can get them at the university’s shop or during exhibitions at various agricultural events across the country.

“We have plans to stock in agrovets where farmers can get the seeds with ease. But for the time being, some farmers are paying online and their seeds are delivered to their respective locations,” he said.

Mr Supeiyo urged county governments, especially in arid and semi-arid regions to embrace the seeds because they have huge benefits to farmers.

He is optimistic that once the Ndovu variety is widely adopted, it will increase the yields and help bridge Kenya’s import gap.

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