PlantVillage Empowers Kilifi Farmers with Onion Cultivation Training for Climate Adaptation and Economic Growth

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To unlock resilience and prosperity in the face of changing climates and economic landscapes, PlantVillage has set up efforts to improve farmers' livelihoods in Kilifi County through diversifying farmers traditional practices such as maize farming.  


The organization has endeavored to equip farmers in the region with necessary knowledge and skills to thrive in onion farming. Through hands-on training sessions, four farmer groups in Malindi, Magarini, Kilifi North and Kilifi South sub-counties have been empowered with the expertise needed to navigate every stage of onion cultivation, from seed selection to cultivation practices.

PlantVillage Empowers Kilifi Farmers with Onion Cultivation Training for Climate Adaptation and Economic Growth

“Kilifi being an ASAL area we are trying to come up with ways that will ensure crops prosperity through planting drought tolerant/ climate smart crops that are favorable with the climatic conditions of the region,” said Mercy Kadzo, PlantVillage Field Officer.


She noted that introduction of onion farming in Kilifi was due to the fact that onions require high temperatures which favor bulbing and curing. “It’s important for farmers to invest in irrigation to assist in onion growth especially when the seedlings are still in the nursery bed,” she stated.


To further facilitate learning and knowledge exchange, four onion nursery plots have been strategically established in the respective sub-counties. The plots serve as invaluable learning hubs where farmers can witness firsthand the best practices in onion propagation. By observing successful cultivation techniques in action, farmers are better equipped to replicate these methods on their own farms, thereby boosting food production and enhancing income-generating activities within the community.


Beyond climate suitability, onion farming lies in its profitability. “The onion market in Kenya is robust and offers promising returns for farmers who invest their time and efforts in its cultivation,” noted Mathias Mwangeka, PlantVillage Field Officer during training with Ukulima Bora Self-Help Group in Kilifi North sub-county.


He further stated that one acre of onion farm can approximately produce one tonne of onion. “Onion farming can provide good profit to a farmer when well implemented due to the cost of onions in the market, one kilogram of onion can cost from 85-200 Ksh depending on the season,” he observed.

Sidi Charo, a member of Ukulima Bora Self-Help Group in Kilifi North, commended PlantVillage for continuously building capacity to farmers in the region through equipping them with knowledge on various good agronomic practices that aids in improving farmers livelihoods. 


Ms. Charo also encouraged other members of the group to learn and implement the onion cultivation techniques for crop prosperity.


In Kilifi County PlantVillage is among the organizations that have spearheaded growing of cassava to enhance food production and enable farmers to embrace production of drought tolerant crops that sustains them despite the climatic condition.

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