Promoting better agricultural practices of drought-tolerant crops in farming communities

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Makueni Agribusiness Ventures is a ten-member farmer group that participated in an AVCD funded good agricultural practices (GAPs) and modern farming training lead by ICRISAT. ICRISAT provided foundation seed for community seed for the short rain season. Through the project, they learnt about the need for sustainable seed systems.

ICRISAT and partners maintain that these crops are not only drought tolerant but are also nutritious, climate-smart and have multiple uses to benefit farmers. Sorghum and millets, for example, are rich in micronutrients and have a low glycemic index – slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels. Drought-tolerant crops have low water footprint, low levels of pesticides and inorganic fertilizers hence smaller carbon footprint.

Additionally, the group is involved in an ICT forum that assists in aggregation and marketing of drought-tolerant groups nationally.  Despite their value, drought-tolerant crops, particularly millets and sorghum, have been steadily losing their share of contribution to calories in Kenya to maize, rice and wheat. According to experts, the primary reasons for the low demand of these cereals are low productivity, poor image and lack of product development.


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Find out about the initiatives under the Feed the Future AVCD Project in Kenya here:

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