Crop scientists are advising smallholder farmers to take up oil crop cultivation, noting they are both significant for their household use and have a guaranteed market.
The experts note that oil crops have a yield of more than 20 percent higher as compared to other crops.
The demand for oil crops skyrocketed after baking, cooking, and spreads which is a wing of Unilever Limited adopted it for processing some of its products.
Head Researcher on Oil Crops at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Organization Peter Ndegwa notes that the country has unmet demands for sunflower, canola, soya bean and linseed oil for both Industrial and domestic use.
Linseed oil, on the other hand, is used for Industrial purposes.
Farmers are being advised to adopt two sunflower varieties, hybrid and Open Pollinated whose products such as sunflower cake, have a ready market in the animal feed manufacturing industries.
experts further advise smallholder farmers to ensure value addition in order to enhance profits vis-à-vis selling the raw seed.
Oil crops have been found to reduce erosion, improve soil water retention and lead to fewer weeds, pests, and diseases.
Similarly, the yield is said to be 20 percent higher compared to other crops.
Agventure, which buys canola seeds from farmers, is also training farmers on better agricultural practices with a view to alleviating effects of climate change, in partnership Unilever East Africa.