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The government will next year launch a five million macadamia and avocado fruit tree seedlings initiative.

Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri has said that farmers will receive macadamia and avocado seedlings which have a ready market in South Africa and China.

“The President has directed to ministry to plant five million seedlings and so far, the nurseries have been established and planted,” he said.

Kiunjuri said the move is aimed at ensuring food and nutrition security, and that there is a market for the commodities especially avocados in South Africa. China has also been identified as a market for fruits and vegetables.

“This is a huge market and Embu county is known for the high production of macadamia and avocados. These are some of the measures that we are taking as a government towards food and nutrition security in different areas,” he said.

In Mombasa county, Kiunjuri said the government will be providing cashews nuts seedlings and others in dryland areas to also benefit the communities. He said they will also be providing high-quality semen for livestock keepers.

The CS was speaking on Thursday while launching the Sh101 million Runga water project in Embu that is currently benefiting 700 farmers.

Kiunjuri said in the first phase, the government invested about Sh80 million while the county government and CDF have spent about Sh21 million.

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“The second phase will cost Sh54 million which we will set aside in the next financial year. The project is targeting 1,000 farmers and the first phase has been commissioned covering 700 farmers. We are going to spend another Sh54 million to cover the remaining 300 farmers. This will be done in the next financial year,” he said.

The CS also announced the stalled Githingi Water Project is near completion. He said the government has set aside set aside Sh11 million to complete the remaining part within five months.

He said the Agriculture ministry is revisiting irrigation and other agricultural projects around the country that had stalled due to insufficient funds.

During Jamhuri Day celebrations, President Uhuru Kenyatta gave a directive to ensure all the stalled projects are complete to help achieve the goal of food and nutrition security.

“We are already rolling out many projects including doing water pans with a capacity of 1,000 cubic metres per household. In addition, we are also rehabilitating old colonial dams and we are desilting them and building new ones with a capacity of between 100,000 cubic metres to almost 500,000 cubic metres,” Kiunjuri said.

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