Farmers must embrace crop varieties which require little irrigation (IPS)

Read at :

http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/05/eating-peas-and-greens-to-maximise-water-usage/

Growing Peas and Greens to Maximise Water Usage

By Miriam Gathigah

With water usage for agriculture surpassing sustainable levels, farmers must embrace crop varieties which require little irrigation.

Amid warnings that Kenya’s agricultural water use is surpassing sustainable levels and adversely affecting food security, biodiversity researchers say that agrobiodiversity should be considered as a vital tool to combat this.

“In order to feed the nation, the country must explore agrobiodiversity, specifically (the growing of) vegetables and fruits, which have been neglected in favour of maize,” Mary Abukutsa-Onyango, a professor of horticulture at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, told IPS.

As climate change continues to wreak havoc on rainfall patterns, resulting in intermittent prolonged dry spells across this East African nation, vegetables present the best alternative to maize because they do not require large amounts of water.

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About Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.
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