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Govt donates 15000 coconut seedlings to revive industry

24 January 2014, 16:45 Ken Wekesa

Kilifi - The government donated 15,000 coconut seedlings to coconut farmers in Rabai to boost the coconut farming which is under threat of extinction in Kilifi County.

Coconut farmers at Mivinjeni in Kilifi County are the first ones to benefit from the project which is to be run in all coconut growing areas at the coastal region.

 Speaking to the press, the research officer of Kenya coconut Development Authority, Emmanuel Masha said coconut farming in the region is at risk of extinction if proper farming and public awareness of the coconut farming is not done.

He said the organization has embarked on a campaign that will sensitize people on the strategies they can utilise in order to have a bumper harvest in the coconut farming sector.

“This rehabilitation program will be done in all areas that practice coconut farming in the coastal region,” said Masha.

A census conducted three years ago revealed that over 10% of the coconut plantations have passed the 60 years of  economic age, which Masha said has affected their yield.

“We hope to replace the existing coconut plantations with new seedlings in a project that will be run for five years covering Rabai, Malindi and Lamu,” said Masha.

He said farmers need to use modern methods of farming especially during planting, urging them to leave enough space between coconut seedlings and use manure so as to achieve desired results.

Masha added that the coconut industry has grown due to its demand in the market and urged farmers to make good use of the opportunity.

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