Government plans to uplift farming of tuber, root crops

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022 08:41 | By
Agriculture and Livestock Development CS Mithika Linturi. PHOTO/File

Kenya plans to intensify the promotion of root and tuber crops as part of efforts to increase food production and taming effects of climate change.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi said on Monday that root and tuber crops popularly known as traditional crops are easy to produce and can endure vagaries of global warming.

In a speech read on his behalf by Agriculture Research Secretary Dr. Oscar Magenya, key factors such as rapid urbanisation, increasing population and changing food styles are expected to drive high demand of the traditional crops. 

“Kenya among other Sub-Saharan Africa countries, has not yet fully exploited the potential of roots and tuber crops to contribute to people’s diet, livelihoods, and economies. Government will drive promotion efforts of traditional crops with a view to ensuring sufficient food in the country’s granaries and at households’ levels,” said Mr. Linturi.  

Linturi made the remarks during the opening of the one week 19th International Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) organised by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).  

Canisius Kanangire, AATF Executive Director said key factors such as rapid urbanization, increasing population  and changing dietary habits of the growing urban populations are expected to drive high demand of the root crops. In most of sub-Saharan Africa, root crops provide up to 20 per cent of dietary calorie needs for a large proportion of the rural population. In recent times, root crops have gained further attention for their potential to act as a buffer against the ravages of climate change on the food and nutrition security needs of many households. In addition, root crops represent an untapped potential in agro-processing and industry especially in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Dr. Kanangire.

According to studies by the World Bank by 2033 Kenya will reach a tipping point in b terms of urbanisation as half of its population will then be living in urban areas and Kenya will have 37 cities of more than 100,000 residents up from 21 urban centres et velisci pitiorr ovidiore nis aut etur asin rerum laut volupta tibusamus.

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