FROM 500 TO 18,000 TONNES

State seeks to increase pyrethrum production

The CS spoke in Eburru, Gilgil, during a farmers' field day.

In Summary

• Kiunjuri says the government is keen on reviving the sector, which at one time generated billions of shillings annually

• Land under the crop will be increased from 6,000 hectares to 18,000 hectares by next year

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui and Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri with farmers in a pyrethrum farm in Eburru, Gilgil, during a field visit
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui and Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri with farmers in a pyrethrum farm in Eburru, Gilgil, during a field visit
Image: George Murage

The Ministry of Agriculture wants to increase the country’s annual pyrethrum production to 18,000 tonnes from the current 500 tonnes.

Under the programme, land under the crop will be increased from 6,000 hectares to 18,000 hectares by next year.  The government is targeting China as the new market.

Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri on Saturday said the government is keen on reviving the sector, which at one time generated billions of shillings annually.

 

He said the government is in the process of restructuring the Pyrethrum Processing Company so that it could support farmers through the provision of seedlings.

“We are keen to revive this sector and our plan is to increase acreage from the current 6,000ha to 18,000ha in the next one year,” he said.

The CS spoke in Eburru, Gilgil, during a farmers' field day. 

He promised that the national government would release Sh45 million towards assisting Nakuru county to procure more pyrethrum seedlings.

Kiunjuri praised the county leadership over its commitment to revive the sector, adding that funds would be increased after the supplementary budget.

“We are seeking new markets in China for pyrethrum, and we shall work closely with the county government to ensure that we support more farmers,” he  said.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said the county had also allocated Sh45 million towards buying more seedlings that would be supplied to farmers in the county.

 

Kinyanjui said to date, the county has spent Sh70 million in supporting farmers.

“We are happy that the sector has picked off, and we shall continue to support farmers through the provision of seedlings, processors and a market for their produce,” he said.

Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga said pyrethrum production currently stood at 500 tonnes per year following a drop in farmers involved in the production.

“Our plan is to increase pyrethrum production from the current 500 tonnes to 18,000 tonnes annually and this is possible as we work on new regulations in the sector,” he said.

Gilgil MP Martha Wangari said the sector had changed the face of Gilgil sub-county and empowered hundreds of farmers who in the past relied on maize farming.

“Through the CDF, we are keen to rehabilitate feeder roads in this constituency so that farmers can easily ferry their produce to the market,” she said.