.More than 3,750 macadamia seedlings distributed to Wusi–Kishamba residents.
.Mwangoma advised farmers to plant the drought resistant crops to reduce incidences of attack by pests and diseases.
The Taita Taveta county government is distributing macadamia seedlings to hundreds of farmers in the region as the rains begin.
The programme aims at increasing macadamia production, boosting the economy and increasing forest cover.
Davis Mwangoma, the county Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation executive, said the department has already distributed more than 3,750 macadamia seedlings to Wusi–Kishamba residents in Mwatate subcounty.
Mwangoma advised farmers to commercialise the crop so as to boost their incomes, noting that the distributed variety has high productivity.
“The government is collaborating with farmers and investing in them so that they can boost their income. The nuts are now our cash crop, let us embrace it,” he said.
He revealed that the government is formulating strategies to roll out value addition activities related to the crop in a bid to shift from subsistence farming.
“This is in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda that calls for boosting manufacturing and food security," he said.
He advised residents to plant the seedlings as the crop would help in boosting tree cover in the area and recharge the springs.
Agriculture chief officer Boniface Mwakio said there were plans to establish a nursery for macadamia to increase the supply of seedlings.
“This will enable the county to source the seed from its farmers, hence reducing costs in the long-run,” Mwakio said.
Meanwhile, the department has also started distributing certified seeds of drought resistant crops across the county.
Mwangoma advised farmers to plant drought-resistant crops to reduce incidences of attack by pests and diseases.
Among the certified seeds distributed is a locally developed maize variety called Tsavo 3106. It matures fast in three months and does well in high and low altitude conditions.
Edited by Henry Makori