Amason Kingi launches Indian hybrid coconut seedlings to revamp coconut farming -Kilifi

Coconut seedlings that Amason Kingi distributed where are they found in Kilifi
Kilifi county hybrid coconut seedlings distribution. FILE
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi boost the coconut sector with high hybrid seedlings from India. The county government started distributing free improved coconut tree seedlings to farmers.

Governor Amason Kingi said the county is piloting a new coconut variety imported from India that is believed to be more productive in a shorter duration.

The Governor added that there are plans to revive the sub-sector that had a lot of challenges and asked farmers to properly take care of the seedlings they would receive.

 The farmers are set to benefit from the initial 30,000 improved indigenous coconut seedlings supported by the county government’s department of agriculture and 3,000 hybrid coconut seedlings imported from India.

Governor Kingi said the new variety was still being piloted and would be availed to farmers after his government is sure of its adaptability to the Kenyan climate.

An initial 150 farmers are targeted to obtain the new variety, which is being piloted by the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO).

Kilifi county hybrid coconut seedlings distribution. FILE

The Indian variety is shorter than the indigenous ones, takes a shorter time to mature and produces more coconut fruits per year.

 “This new variety will reduce accidents that are normally associated with coconut harvesters falling from indigenous coconut trees because it is very short,” he said.

The seedlings are available through Agricultural county extension officers and the county offices.

 The new hybrid variety known as dwarf sampona was imported from India and is at a nursery at the KALRO centre in Matuga, Kwale County. It will be ready for release to farmers after nine months.

A KALRO officer said the organization bought each of the 3,000 seedlings from India at Sh500 each and “quarantined” them for nine months to monitor their change to the East African soils.

 He said the hybrid variety was able to produce at least 300 coconut fruits annually compared to the East African variety, which he said produces only 100 fruits.

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