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FAO blames food insecurity in Kenya to reliance on rainfed farming

Staff Writer |
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on Thursday blamed food insecurity in coastal Kenya especially in Tana River county to over reliance on rainfed farming.

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Joseph Mathooko, FAO field monitoring officer said for the region to realize good harvest and achieve food security, there is need to adopt irrigation farming as opposed to rainfed agriculture that has proved unreliable over the years.

"Going by the realities of climate change, we must face the reality and start deviating from relying on rainfall for food production and embrace irrigation farming both at large scale and small scale," Mathooko noted during a field visit to the region.

The FAO official said farmers in the region realized total crop failure during the last cropping season as a result of over dependence on rainfed farming.

He observed that the UN food agency acted following a request from the government and provided maize, cow pea, green grams, paddy rice and kale seeds to the people who were affected by floods in Tana River county.

The UN official said that besides providing seeds, FAO also gave farmers farm implements and tools to replace theirs that were washed away by the floods.

Ramadhan Mwamwero, deputy county director of agriculture for Tana River County said that with the availability of water from River Tana, the region is capable of producing abundant food for domestic consumption and for export.

"Farmers who relied on rainfall for their farming got zero harvest while those who planted under irrigation had a bumper crop success," Mwamwero said.

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