Munya launches coconut revolving fund to revamp sub-sector

coconut revolving fund

Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Peter Munya has launched the coconut Revolving fund.

The fund was launched on Friday at the Kwale Cultural Center in Matuga.

The fund targets to improve coconut farming at the Coast.

The Ksh 100 million fund will be domiciled at the commodities Fund.

The revolving fund is aimed at jumpstarting the dwindling fortunes of the coconut sub-sector.

About 10 million trees in Kenya are considered redundant due to old age, poor species of crop and farming methods.

The CS pledged to support the sub-sector by distributing one million coconut seedlings in the next planting season.

Also Read: Dwarf hybrid coconut variety could doom farmers

The money will also empower small-scale farmers to grow and maximize coconut production.

Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale farmers are to extensively benefit from the program.

Over 65, 000 farmers from the coast are to benefit from the Commodity fund.

The coconut revolving fund comes amid the government efforts of reviving the coconut and cashew nuts industry in Kenya.

According to the Cabinet Secretary, the coconut sector plays a critical role in Kenya’s economy hence the need to back it up.

Currently, it contributes a revenue of sh 13 billion that’s about 1.5 per cent of the Agricultural GDP and 0.4 of Kenya’s GDP.

Munya said when the sector is seriously engaged it can contribute over sh 25 billion Agricultural GDP and 1000 new employment opportunities directly and indirectly to the locals.

The CS said the current coconut production is way too low saying the country has the potential to produce more.

To date, the old coconut tree can produce 35 nuts annually.

Munya said the government targets to empower farmers so that they can have over 150 nuts per tree yearly.

“We are trying to triple up the yields, to have more harvests, ” he said.

He told farmers to utilise the small loans well and improve their livelihoods.

He said that the nut sector provides livelihoods to approximately  150, 000 households.

Munya said the government is determined to stabilize the industry asking the farmers to step in.

He said they will review the Agricultural policies and do away with old laws that hinder the nuts growth.

“We have a lot of challenges but I ask stakeholders to sit down come up with good legal systems that will promote coconut farming, ” he said.

One of the requirement to get the Commodity is a title deed that the majority of the coastal people don’t have.

Munya said the ministry was going to see if some hard collateral terms can be negotiated and substituted by something else for the coconut revolving fund to benefit everyone.

The coastal counties are now experiencing a shortage of nuts due to the high demand of the commodity by Tanzanians.

The CS encouraged the local farmers to form cooperatives so that they can be protected against exploitation.

The Principal Secretary for Agriculture Hamadi Boga said already 500, 000 coconut seedlings have been distributed to the locals.

The commodity fund will distribute 30, 000 coconut seedlings for planting ahead of the long rain season.

Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya said his government will make sure that farmers are well trained and equipped with the basic knowledge to improve nut sector.

Ends

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Jumaa Charo
Jumaa Charo is a veteran journalist . He is passionate about issues of Human Rights and Security.

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