Home / Business & Development News / KALRO raises red flag over high malnutrition level among children in Busia County
Photo: Busia Agriculture CEC Dr Moses Osia presents a seedling to a resident at Busia ATC on Monday.

KALRO raises red flag over high malnutrition level among children in Busia County

Busia Agriculture CEC Dr Moses Osia during a meeting with farmers at Busia ATC on Monday.
KALRO Muguga Centre Director Genetic, Resource, Research Institute Dr Victor Wasike addressing the press in Busia on Monday.

Kenya  Agricultural  and Livestock Research Organization  (KALRO) has  raised red flag over high malnutrition level  among children  under the  aged of  five  years in Busia County.

KALRO  Muguga Centre Director  Genetic, Resource, Research Institute Dr  Victor Wasike said per every  1000 children aged five years  and below  25 are malnourished.

Dr  Wasike said  the scenario  has been occasioned by lack of knowledge  in the consumption of  underutilized fruits like  Guavas, goose , Rasp and  strawberries, Jack fruit (Ofene), and  bread fruit.

Speaking  at Busia Agricultural Training Centre  on  Monday while launching the distribution of over 10,000 seedlings  for underutilized fruits, Dr  Wasike  said the ignored  fruits  are highly nutritious  with guavas  leading in  iron needed for  brain development in children.

“Many people have false notion that  these  fruits such as guavas, ofene and berries  are for the poor. We want  these fruits back  and people to consume them. They restore  nutritional value.

 Lack of awareness  regarding  the importance of  these fruits  was the main contributing factor, thus the need to create awareness and encourage  people to grow them,” he said.

 Dr Wasike said any child   from the age of conception to 1000  days  window  without  essential vitamins, iron and calcium  in the body  will be incapacitated for  good  with no correction mechanism,” he said.

He said instead of   consuming high highly nutritious  indigenous  crops  some people  go for supplements, hospitals  or donors, adding that they are collaborating  with  the County  Governments to provide scientific evidence.

County Executive Committee Member for  Agriculture and Animal Resources  Dr Moses Osia  said they are targeting  600,000 seedlings  to be distributed to farmers across the county  in the next few months.

”  Busia has a lot of potential  to grow  indigenous crops in large numbers. The County Government has  given  20,000 more seedlings   to support KALRO initiative,” he said, adding that  the  County will have a model farm for assorted indigenous fruits at ATC.

Those  present at the  launch  included  Chief  Officer  for Agriculture  Richard Achiambo, KALRO Post harvest  scientist   Francis Wayua, County Director Communications and Publicity Winston Wafula and  Chairman stakeholders  ATC, Leonard Murwai. 

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