Read full article@ Kenya News Agency Photo Credit: Agriculture, Counties, Editor’s Pick, Food Security, Kiambu
The Government has through the Ministry of Agriculture, been pushing millers to blend flour with nutritious grains such as sorghum, millet and cassava, to ensure sufficient production of food.
This will also ensure promotion of production and commercialization of the local grains to improve farmer’s earnings.
The last few years has witnessed growing interest in sorghum, millet and other small grains from both the public and private players and the demand is expected to rise even more once the Flour Blending Policy is actualized.
Once the blending policy comes through, it will be part of President Uhuru’s ‘Big 4’ Agenda, which will contribute towards food security and also improve nutrition
But even as the country awaits for the Policy to be realized, private sector players have joined the government in developing hybrids, to respond to the high grain demand, especially for the brewing and animal feed value chains.
Speaking during a field day that brought a consortium of small grains seed industry members from East and Southern Africa (ESA), to evaluate and select sorghum and pearl millet hybrid parents being grown at KALRO – Kiboko field, Makueni, to use in their development programmes, Dr. Eric Manyasa, a crop breeder from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), said that climate change and food and nutrition security are a reality and thus the importance of embracing such grains.
He noted that the government’s efforts to develop a Flour Blending Policy will come in with a need to have big volumes of the small grains of sorghum and millet and therefore players should be ready for that.
“We need as stakeholders and scientists to move with speed to produce the right materials, the right varieties adapted to the right agro-ecological areas, so that when the Policy is rolled out we shall be able to produce the right required volumes of the grains, to be able to run the blending system,” Manyasa said.