This is a manual on Green Grams Production written by SASOL staff.
Green grams are a leguminous crop of species Vigna native to the Indian sub continent but also cultivated in hot and dry regions of southern Europe, southern united states and eastern Africa. It’s an upright bushy plant that can grow to a height of 30-120cm. the color is usually green but can also be found in sheds of black and yellow. The pods are linear sometimes curved, round slender and hairy. Green grams are nutritious source of food with 25% protein content and can also be grown for hay, green manure and cover crop. In Kitui county green grams are grown mainly for sale in local and export market.
Sasol foundation has been promoting the commercialization of green grams within the framework of enhancing food security with DFT Project. This project targets 1500 farmers in Kitui rural and Kitui south sub counties in the year 2014. The strategy of this project aims at increasing agricultural productivity through promotion of drought tolerant crops, moisture retention and conservation, value chain analysis, inculcating business attitude towards farming and creation of market linkages. The capacity of farmers is strengthened through training on appropriate dry land farming techniques, institutional management and business management skills. To achieve this goal, farmers are organized into farmer associations/ groups which in turn come together and form producer and marketing cooperatives. So far the lower Yatta producer and marketing cooperative was formed in 2013 with a current membership of 416.
Farmers join a marketing co-operative to gain more control in marketing their produce so they can:
a) Increase the price for their produce
b) Reduce the cost of marketing their produce
c) Obtain agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, chemicals
d) Make market for their goods more secure
The whole production cycle and marketing is within the frame work of cooperative