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#Nyeri : 15 Million Coconut farming project to be piloted in Nyeri and later to other parts of Central region.

Coconut tree. PHOTO | FILE

Nyeri farmers to benefit from sh 15 Million coconut farming pilot project. The project will be piolted in several areas in Central region. According to the experts, they are looking forward to get a coconut breed that will servive cool environment.

BEFOCA National Chairman Gerald Macharia said that the majority of the crops have been doing well in Central region except the Coconut and Cushewnut trees.

Mr Macharia said that the Coconut tree has various products that have not been exploited. "If the coconut grows well in Central region then we will build an industry for the products unlikely the Coast people have been sleeping on this mult-Million tree" said Macharia.

More than 2,000 farmers in Nyeri County will soon start planting coconut trees in Kanyai Forest in Kieni West Constituency in a Sh15 million program funded by both Nuts and Oil Crops Directorate and the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).

Mr Macharia said that the tree which has been known to do well in the coastal region will be piloted in 100 acres of land in Tanyai before the production expanded to cover another 100 acres as it progresses.

“After planting the 100 acres, we shall expand the farming to cover another 100 acres. Basically the expansion of the project will depend on how the coconut trees will adopt to the central region environment,” he said.

The farmers, under the umbrella Bee Breeders Community Forest Association (Befoca), have been leased 400 acres of land by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) at Tanyai Forest in Kieni West constituency in Nyeri County.

Addressing reporters at Kilifi Town on Monday, Befoca National Chairman Gerald Macharia said the Sh15 million coconut project will be implemented with assistance from the Nuts & Oil Crops Directorate and the National Drought Management Authority.

“The farmers have been clustered in 26 groups from Nairutia, Kiawara and Tanyai villages and the cultivating process is of course," he said.

Mr. Macharia added that farmers were waiting for the distribution of seedlings and infrastructure set up of farms in readiness for planting.

The Government have already issued  a lease to the KFS land for the project. "People will need to start think of growing more tree to supplement their daily needs." said Macharia. Coast region has been known for the growing of the palm trees and does well in hot areas.


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