Nyeri County is ranked among the top counties with a large number of patients suffering from non-communicable diseases.
Health experts in the county have urged residents to venture into groundnut farming to curb the rising lifestyle diseases.
According to Alice Njeri, a health practitioner and nutritionist, the rising number of lifestyle diseases has been caused by poor health practices.
She added that diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer can be controlled by the use of indigenous food.
Njeri further stated peanut oil from groundnuts helps regulate blood pressure and sugar levels and contains Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps in preventing the cells from being damaged.
“We have been advising residents to use peanut oil to help reduce the lifestyle diseases because it has helpful essentials that boost immunity to non-communicable diseases,” she said.
Nebadon Livestock Company and JOPA Industries CEO Job Kareithi who deals with the production of peanut oil in Nyeri said farmers should consider growing peanuts as a sustainable source of oil, nutrition and as a source of income.
“Peanut oil is believed to have natural alkaloids that help in the fight and prevention of non-communicable diseases like diabetes and cancer,” he said.
He further said that with the current change in climate, farmers should consider tubers as a resilient source of our food.
“Peanuts are legumes since they fix nitrogen in the soil and are a great pure oil needed to reduce communicable diseases and potent cake for livestock feeds. Farmers should focus on growing peanuts as an adaptation initiative for sustainable soil management and as climate-smart agriculture, “he said.
He added Nyeri County which has been well-known for cash crops like tea and coffee in recent years has seen more farmers slowly turning to high-value crops like ground nuts.
Kareithi said that a farmer can harvest up to 1.6 tonnes of groundnuts in an acre which can be sold at a whooping cost of ksh12,000 per 100 kg.