Kilifi Cocoa seedlings planted during launch wither off


The second cocoa seedling to be planted in Kilifi county has wilted.

The seedling was planted at the governor’s office lawn garden a week ago by Kilimo Sasa Fund Executive Officer, Mr Gary Stubley.

Kilifi governor Amason Kingi planted the first seedling which is also withering.

The first Cocoa seedling to be planted in Kilifi county was planted by Kilifi governor Amason Kingi at his office could not immediately establish if the plants are wilting due to poor crop management or the soil cannot support the crop.

Also Read: Kilifi ventures into Cocoa farming

The County government of Kilifi last week entered into an agreement with Kilimo sasa fund to grow organic Cocoa in the county after a feasibility study conducted by the Kenya Agricultural Research Organisation (KALRO) and Kilimo Sasa Fund in Mtwapa on the viability of cocoa farming in Kilifi indicated the crop can do well in the region.

Kingi lauded the plan to introduce the crop in the county saying it will transform the livelihoods of the local farmers.

“This project is going to diversify the way we do our agriculture, as we are aware farming in Kilifi is mainly for subsistence, but with this programme we are going to see farmers producing more cocoa for commercial purposes,” Kingi said.

When he planted the first seedling, Kingi left instructions to his officers to make sure the seedling is watered twice a day.

A source at the governor’s office blamed monkeys for the failure of the plants.

“Monkeys are chewing up the seedlings and we now want to fence off the remaining seedling to guard it from the monkeys,” said the source.

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