News and knowhow for farmers

Mbegu Choice helping farmers get high value seed online

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By the year 2050, Kenya alone will have a population of 56 million working people. The majority of this number will be women and youth.

This projection introduces a new challenge of feeding Kenyans sufficiently to prevent hunger and food insecurity.

Without satisfactory organization and good planning mechanisms to encourage food security, the perennial twin problems of food insecurity and hunger will continue to plague the country. In addition, low diversity of crops in Kenya’s food supply increasingly contributes to low nutrition and stunting. An estimated 35% of Kenyan children under the age of 5 are stunted. This has significant negative implications for their future ability to learn, and become productive members of society.
Increasing Kenya’s food production is the best way to feed our growing population, and to properly and adequately tackle the problem of food insecurity.
Farmers’ Plight
Many Kenyan farmers are unaware of new and modern varieties of crop seed that have been bred by local Kenyan breeders for the changing climate conditions and that can produce much higher yields. Even in cases when farmers know of the new seed varieties he/she needs, they often find that their agrodealers do not stock a wide selection of varieties and many times cannot access the new varieties.
Because of this, farmers have had to fall back on the portion of their harvests that they habitually set aside for the next planting season, commonly called “recycled seed”.
Endless recycling of seeds has been found to be one of the reasons why Kenyan farmers continue to achieve low yields year in and year out. To combat this, farmers are encouraged to embrace the use of modern varieties of certified seed, and to regularly purchase fresh seed.
MbeguChoice’s timely entry
This is where MbeguChoice comes in. MbeguChoice was developed to bridge the information gap that exists between seed breeders and Kenyan farmers.
MbeguChoice is an online tool that provides information on the wide range of certified crop seed varieties that are available to farmers in Kenya. In addition, it allows users to search the crop seed varieties with the attributes that they desire the most and that are best suited for their region.
For example, farmers who want sorghum seed with attributes such as early maturity and drought tolerance will get information on which varieties best suit them and will work best on their farm. They will also learn which seed companies produce seed of these varieties.
With this information, MbeguChoice is also very helpful for Agrodealers. Agrodealers now have an easy way to choose the best crop seed varieties to stock, with information of the newest releases and those that are best suited to their sales regions. It also informs them which seed companies (suppliers) they should contact, in an effort to make sourcing as easy as possible.
Unless we improve access to crop seed variety information and increase availability of these seeds to farmers, the country will be facing even more severe food insecurity.
MbeguChoice provides a big part of the solution, by being the best place to get complete crop seed variety information. Farmers, agrodealers and extension workers now have an easy way to identify the new and modern crop varieties that will deliver increased yields for Kenya’s farmers.

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