By Ronald Owili
The East African Grain Council is targeting farmers in Meru, Machakos and Western Kenya as it spearheads efforts to increase pulse production.
Kenya currently produces 800,000 metric tonnes of pulses annually of which less than 20 percent is exported despite the huge demand.
This comes as Shalem Investments has commissioned a grain and pulses processing plant in Meru that will benefit farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
While the quest to attain food security has largely been centered on maize production where farmers receive subsidized fertilizer, seed and equipment incentives, other commodities have received little or no attention at all from both the national and county governments.
This is despite their ability to help diversify the country’s food reserve.
Experts are calling for government support for pulses that comprise among others beans, cow peas, lentils green grams and pigeon peas.
The East African Grain Council is targeting to boost production of pulses from the current 800,000MT annually in counties where the crops can thrive.
The East African Grain Council says there is a huge demand for pulses especially in Asian countries.
Shalem Investments commissioned a grain and pulses processing plant in Meru that will benefit farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
The firm is training 20,000 smallholder farmers on pulses farming.