The World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the United Nations (UN), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food programme (WFP), the National Government, and the County Government of Busia have embarked on a programme to help farmers move from tobacco farming to alternative livelihoods.
The project dubbed “tobacco-free farms” is targeting 150 farmers in Teso North Sub County especially Angurai South, Angurai North, and Malaba northwards through the production of high-yielding Nyota variety bean seeds.
Speaking during the inspection of the beans seed consignment at the Busia office, the CECM for Livestock Fisheries and Agriculture Symplicious Mukok said there was a need for farmers to diversify their farming activities.
“We have three tonnes of Nyota bean seed,” he said, adding that the seed will later be shared with the neighboring Sub counties so that it can later spread to the whole county.
He urged farmers to move from tobacco dependence adding that it had its negative consequences.
The County Agricultural Extension Officer Kennedy Otieno said that WHO has mobilized resources to support tobacco farmers get alternative livelihoods.
“WHO is funding, FAO is offering agronomic support and WFP is offering market linkages,” he said.
Otieno explained that the high-iron beans take 60 to 70 days to mature adding that it has no gases.
“FAO procured the Nyota bean seeds from KALRO Kitale before it was delivered to Angurai,” he said adding that the intended beneficiaries have been advised to prepare their farms