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  • Last Update May 19, 2024 2:15 PM
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Coconut Stakeholders Call for Establishment of Independent Palm Tree Directorate

Coconut Stakeholders Call for Establishment of Independent Palm Tree Directorate

Kilifi

Tuesday April 16, 2024

KNA by Jackson Msanzu

Kilifi region coconut tree stakeholders led by the Linda Mnazi Community Based Organisation (CBO) have urged the government, through the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), to establish a dedicated Palm Tree Directorate.

This call comes in response to concerns that the current oversight under the Oil and Nuts Directorate has led to neglect of the coconut and its products, owing to the ambiguity surrounding the categorisation of coconut within the broader umbrella of nuts.

The proposed directorate would play a pivotal role in formulating comprehensive policies governing the production, marketing, and consumption of coconut and its derivatives.

Addressing media during a peaceful protest in Kilifi town, Linda Mnazi CBO chairperson Najma Mangi emphasized the urgent need for a separate directorate focused solely on coconut.

Mangi underscored the importance of self-reliance and effective management of the coconut industry, highlighting the potential for increased prosperity within the region.

She further noted that Linda Mnazi already has established policies for coconut management and is eagerly awaiting official recognition and implementation by both the national and Kilifi County governments.

In addition to advocating for the coconut industry, Mangi appealed to the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) to intervene in regulating the consumption of the local palm tree brew, commonly known as ‘mnazi’ emphasizing the necessity of responsible consumption guidelines to mitigate the adverse effects of excessive drinking.

She further asked for comprehensive regulations that encompass the management of local pubs selling mnazi, aiming to eradicate associated social issues and ensure a safer environment for communities.

“The coconut industry has immense potential to generate revenue for the county and the country at large. We implore the government to provide the necessary support to unlock the diverse benefits it offers,” Mangi affirmed.

While expressing dissatisfaction with the government’s directive to restrict the sale of mnazi to after 5 pm, mnazi business owners appealed for reconsideration, suggesting a more favorable time of 11 am.

They argued that the limited operating hours pose significant challenges to their livelihoods, particularly for traders who rely on mnazi sales to support their families and educate their children.

“We urge the government to reconsider the business hours, as mnazi sales are a vital source of income for many of us. This adjustment would greatly alleviate financial burdens and empower us to provide for our families,” pleaded Kadzo Mwavuo, a Mnazi business owner.

Courtesy; KNA

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