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West Pokot revives cash crop farming.

West Pokot county has trying to reduce overdependence on relief food by reviving cash crop farming.

Governor John Lonyangapuo said the county has the potential to grow food and cash crops.

'In the last financial year we were able to revive tea, cotton, pyrethrum, sisal and coffee farming," the governor said.

This year the county is distributing free seedlings.

The governor said the county has favourable climatic conditions to farm if farmers are empowered.

He said there were ready markets and the county has partnered with institutions that will buy direct from farmers.

In low land areas farmers are planting sisal and cotton while in highland areas they have planted coffee, tea and pyrethrum, Longyangapuo said.

Early this year the county signed an MoU with Rivatex company that will buy cotton directly from farmers.

The county has more than 300 farmers growing cotton on more than 5,000 acres.

West Pokot is famous for producing pyrethrum with some of the highest content in the world. but farmers uprooted crops after cooperative societies failed to pay them.

Lonyangapuo urged farmers to plant pyrethrum again since they partnered with five companies to buy the produce.

Farmer James Lorikwan said he had lost hope after the cooperative society failed to pay him.

'I have decided to go back to pyrethrum since it's my favourite crop and I hope the county will help us market it," he said.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Aug 28, 2019
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