UN to promote cultivation of nutritious crops in Kenya
11 April 2016, 14:33
Nairobi (Xinhua) -- The UN said on Sunday it will promote the cultivation of nutritious crops in Kenya as part of efforts to boost food security.
The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Kenya Country Representative Robert Allport told Xinhua in Nairobi that it has commenced a programme to encourage the cultivation of the orange fleshed sweet potato.
"It is a highly nutritious crop and is considered a power food that complements other foods in the diet," Allport said.
"The aim of the programme is to enable the orange fleshed sweet potato to become a commodity in the market so that more farmers will have incentive to grow it," he said.
The FAO country representative said that once the farmers harvest the crop they will be encouraged to retain some for their own consumption.
The orange fleshed sweet potato is rich in essential vitamins that help to boost the body's immune system. FAO is also partnering with the Kenyan government to promote the commercialization of farming.
Allport urged farmers to focus on crops that have significant market demand such as green grams and sunflower.
"However, market demand does change all the time so farmers need to be able to be updated on the best crops to grow in each planting season," he said. The East African nation is currently heavily dependent on maize.
The UN official said that dependence on a single crop will undermine Kenya's efforts to achieve food security in the long run.