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Farmers urged to grow more legumes for food security

By Maureen Akinyi

More farmers should grow legumes to boost food security, researchers have said.

To achieve that goal, for the past three years, the Legume Centre of Excellence for Food and Nutrition Security (LCEFoNS), under Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has endeavoured to enhance the legume value chain of the country.

The project focuses on different stages along the value chain of legumes; from agricultural production, post-harvest storage and food processing to human consumption and its impact on nutrition and health.

While paying a courtesy call to the Vice Chancellor Prof Victoria Wambui Ngumi, the Joint Steering Committee of the Legume Centre of Excellence for Food and Nutrition Security led by Prof Marc Hendrickx (KU Leuven, Belgium) and Prof Daniel Sila (JKUAT, Kenya) said they were impressed with the progress so far.

“I am confident with the competence level of the 7 PhD students and upon completion of their studies, the project will accord them infrastructural support to enhance their research work,” said Prof Hendrick.

Prof Ngumi lauded the work the project has done so far and encouraged the team to come up with tangible research outputs and innovations that can be scaled down to the community.

According to the Vice Chancellor, the outputs should not only improve the nutritional and health status of the country but also the economic status of legume farmers.

With the help of ICT, the Legume Centre of Excellence in Food and Nutrition Security plans to escalate the data collected and analysed to all stakeholders of the legume value chain across the country.

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