Traditional Crops Puff Hopes For Climate Resilience In Kenya

Workers wash millet to prepare it for popping in Embu, Kenya, September 9, 2019. PHOTO | THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

By The East African

Two years ago, Michael Gichangi launched a business he hopes will help his rural community better cope with climate change stresses: making puffed cereal from climate-hardy traditional grains.

Using a $1,000 machine he bought, he pops millet—a drought-tolerant grain, but one not as widely eaten as staple maize—and turns it into a popular snack.

Over the last two years he has sold about $1,500 worth of the popped grain, and is the first in the district to have one of the machines, he said.

“I started popping millet to produce very delicious snacks, by mixing it with groundnuts, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon powder and simsim (sesame) oil”, he said.

The combination has won particular approval from students looking for an after-school snack, he said and is now sold at the local Embu market.

Like many households in sub-Saharan Africa struggle with poverty and food insecurity, climate change is hitting harvests and making life even harder. Read more>>

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