By Allan Tawai
Farmers in Kitui County are self-assured to earn between Sh.3 to Sh.5 billion proceeds from the sale of the Green grams early next year.
Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS)’s Secretary General Dr.Abbas expressed confidence of a plenteous harvest in February, noting that green grams had done extremely well due to the relatively heavy rainfall experienced in the region over the last two months.
“If the rains extend into the New Year, we anticipate a yield of about 30,000 to 40,000 tons of green grams, which will translate to an estimated Sh.3 to Sh.5 billion earnings,” he noted.
Dr. Abbas spoke when he joined area Governor Charity Ngilu in touring green gram farms in Kavisuni and Miambani areas within Kitui Rural and Kitui Central Sub-Counties respectively.
In September, KRCS donated 400 tons of green grams (ndengu) certified seeds to over 200,000 vulnerable farmers across the vast county. Each farmer received two kilos of the seeds.
The Secretary General said his organization had set aside Sh.50 million to purchase the produce after harvest in February 2018 while Governor Ngilu revealed plans by her administration to secure a ready market in India in order to protect the farmers from unscrupulous middlemen.
Gullet also challenged the National Cereals and Produce Board, the National Government and the private sector to move in to purchase the expected produce noting that the two partners were already mobilizing buyers for the expected bumper harvest.
He said the quantities of the produce and the financial implication required the collaborative efforts of donor agencies, governments and the private sector to pool the required financial muscle to purchase the crop at the appropriate price.
“We spent Sh.150 million on seeds but we are going to harvest crop worth between Sh.3 and Sh.5 billion and that’s where the numbers start adding up,” said Gullet.
Dr. Gullet termed Kitui’s large-scale green grams production as a sure path towards eliminating periodic hunger and poverty in the county.