KARLO scientists develop new cassava seedlings technology to boosts seeds multiplication
Scientists from the Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organisation (Kalro) have developed a new cassava seedlings technology to enable farmers get quality planting materials.
Agriculture and Food Authority (Afa) trained farmers in Kilifi recently on the technology to curb food insecurity.
The technology known as rapid multiplication of cassava through minisetts was developed September last year. It is aimed at curbing food insecurity, creating jobs through value addition and earn income for farmers.
Through the technology, the drought resistant crop takes three to four months to mature, and produces more yields compared to other varieties.
According to scientists the technology is appropriate as it ensures farmers have enough planting materials in a short span.
“There was a shortage of cassava planting material due to prolonged drought periods. We focused on technology to find a solution to the shortage. The technology has a multiplier effect,” Afa technical and advisory services manager Peter Mwangi said.
Minisetts technology is suitable in Coast region since the Tajirika cassava variety was made for the coastal weather, soil and climatic conditions.
“We are changing from conventional farming to use of technology due to a serious shortage of cassava cuttings to enable farmers have more planting materials in a short period. Instead of having five conventional materials, you can now have 60 out of just one stem. It also saves on costs of the materials,” Mr Mwangi explained.
But unlike the local variety known as Kabandameno which can