Machakos: Agricultural diversity project

Machakos: Agricultural diversity project



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In Yatta district in south-east Kenya, 80 per cent of the population relies on food aid in a region where farmers who are dependent on rain-fed agriculture have struggled with the impact of climate change.

According to John Mbalu, coordinator of the National Society’s local Machakos branch, the last good harvest of maize, the staple crop, was in 1997.
In October 2011, the Kenya Red Cross Society teamed up with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) in an initiative to encourage farmers to diversify and move away from crops like maize and beans, which require a lot of water, to grow a new variety of drought-resistant cassava.
“It is a ‘climate-smart’ food security project where farmers benefit directly from scientific research straight out of the laboratory,” says Mbalu.


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