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Desert farming could increase food security in KenyaNorth Eastern Kenya was one of the regions in the country that experienced perennial drought. One proactive and sustainable option for insulating the region and indeed, the entire country, against the negative effects of drought is through large-scale investment in desert agriculture.
With the availability of labour and a virgin territory five times the size of Rwanda, there is no better place to experiment with desert agriculture. Some of the farm produce harvested locally already signifies the great potential for agriculture in the region.
They include lemons, bananas, watermelons, pawpaws, mangoes, tomatoes, kales, onions, cassava and millet. But there has been a consistent failure to tap into large-scale farming in the region due to the long-held stereotypical thinking that North Eastern Kenya is a barren land that is not worthy of massive investment.
For example, despite its dry lands and harsh weather conditions similar to Northern Kenya's, Israel has successfully managed to transform its largely desert lands into lush green farmlands. Its Negev desert hosts fish farms and plantations of fruits and vegetables.
Similar progress has been reported in the Judean desert where farmers grow quality onions and basil. Egypt has used the River Nile to grow fruits and vegetables on the Sahara. With good leadership and investment, the North can feed Kenya.
Publication date: 5/19/2017
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