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Plans set forth to increase farming in Kenya's coastal communities

Humanitarian groups and government officials in coastal regions in Kenya are promoting new initiatives to get farmers in the area to work on larger plots of land to increase productivity. The plan also aims to decrease poverty and food insecurity levels, IRIN reports.

According to Elias Gitonga Kithaura, the Tana Delta District Commissioner, increasing each farmer's plot to 50 acres could provide more money and opportunities.

He told the news source that the local weather offers suitable conditions for large-scale production of in-demand crops like fruits and vegetables.

However, to convince the people of the initiative's benefits and to teach them the new methods, other improvements need to be made in the area.

People in the region are illiterate and find it easy to lease out their land to pastoral farmers, Stephen Muanga, the Bamba District officer told the news source. These factors may make the new idea a hard one to sell.

Many residents believe other steps like installing irrigation systems should be first on the list before starting any new farming initiatives.

"Other than relying on food aid, it would be better if we bought the water pumps to sustain ourselves through irrigation agriculture and the sale of extra produce," Duwayo resident Isaac Dima told the publication.

Government officials report that they are currently working on a plan to develop such systems from dams upstream of the Tana River which runs through the coastal communities.
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