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Finding a Way Out of the Maize

Recurring drought and crop failure in many parts of the world have led to food and nutrition insecurity, and a dependence on food aid. But recently, some farmers in Kenya have been developing their own sustainable way to secure enough nutritious food along with extra income so that they can send their children to school. Traditional drought tolerant, nutritious crops such as cassava, sorghum and millet that were losing popularity due to a surge in maize production are again becoming commonplace, with reliable harvests improving diets and income.

The dryness of the soil in Mutunga’s farm shows that it has not rained for a long time in Mutomo district in eastern Kenya. “The last time I had a good maize harvest was in 2003,” says Mutunga. He is amongst a growing group of farmers in the area who are diversifying their crops as a way of dealing with the changing climate that is putting their lives at risk. But this has also had other benefits, including a greater nutritional diversity.


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