Mr. Sylvester K'Okoth inspects the certified sunflower seeds before distribution at the NCPB, Bondo
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Siaya County Government on Monday 29 April 2024 distributed a milestone 16.35 tons of certified sunflower seeds.

The distribution event which took place at the National Cereals and Produce Board in Bondo town was graced by the CECM Agriculture Sylvester K’Okoth.

Making reference to the event Siaya Governor James Aggrey Bob Orengo has said:

“My government has today commenced the distribution of 16.35 tons of sunflower seeds in the entire county. These seeds will benefit at least 10,000 farmers across the county on an acreage of more than 6,000 acres. These efforts are meant to increase our sunflower productivity from the current 2.7tons to over 16 metric tons annually.”

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Although the sunflower planting craze is yet to catch fire in most parts of Siaya County, the Governor reiterated his confidence that soon there’ll be an edible oil processing plant set up in Siaya.

“Under our resolve to have MADE IN SIAYA a reality, we will have edible oil processed and packaged locally in Siaya County,” said the Governor adding “The by-products of sunflower will also be used to produce high quality livestock feeds, hence very important for livestock rearing in Siaya.”

“The seeds we are distributing are drought resistant, and can also be intercropped with other crops such as maize & sorghum and matures within 3 months”— James Aggrey Bob Orengo 

Orengo further revealed that the seeds being distributed were of a drought-resistant variety and would allow farmers to plant other crops in the same shambas without exposure to any danger.

“The seeds we are distributing are drought resistant, and can also be intercropped with other crops such as maize & sorghum and matures within 3 months. We are committed to making Siaya County the food basket of this Nation. It’s time for Siaya to rise and shine,” said Governor Orengo.

Siaya County is one of ten counties in Kenya which qualified for the Edible Oil Crops Promotion Project (2023-2027) run by the national government.

AFA, through Nuts and oil Crops Directorate is implementing the edible oil crops promotion project. The project seeks to support availability of affordable and quality inputs, technical support on production, as well as promoting cottage level processing. Sunflower which is widely adapted to almost all ecological zones in the country is one of the crops singled out as a viable alternative towards achieving self-sufficiency and import substitution.

Edible Oil Crops Promotion Project (2023-2027)

The proposed project will contribute towards creation of employment opportunities in a number of areas including; seed distribution, production, produce aggregation, transportation, warehousing, aggregation and agro-processing. Within the next 5 years, interventions through this project are anticipated to increase domestically produced edible oil from the current 80,000 MT to 240,000 MT, which is an increase of 160,000 MT. This will lead to a production of 1.5 million MT of soy bean, canola and Sunflower seed for use as raw material in oil extraction.

The interventions will also expand the area under edible oil crops across fifteen (15) growing counties from the current 60,000 ha to 250,000ha. The project will promote oil crops in ten (10) non-traditional counties. The productivity which is currently low at an average of 0.3 – 0.5 tonnes/ha will increase to 2.0 tonnes/ha as a result of interventions from this project.

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