Kibwezi and Nzaui Finger Millet

Ark of taste
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Locally known as wimbi, finger millet is an ingredient used in many typical Kenyan dishes. It is considered one of the best grains to use in making porridge cooked with milk for weaning children in the area of Ukambani. Wimbi flour porridge is also served to nursing mothers and mothers who have just given birth, to restore their strength. A Kenyan hotel group used to be known for its wimbi bread and wimbi cakes, however they have ceased operations since the 1990s. While products made with wimbi are appreciated by Kenyans, low production levels mean that many must do without this ingredient or purchase the grain imported from other African nations at high prices. Although the crop is well adapted to the arid and semi-arid lands in Kibwezi and Nzaui districts, production has decreased because the crops are often decimated by birds that feed on the grains. Many farmers have begun only planting wimbi near roads, in the hopes that the traffic will scare off birds. One local women’s group is working on commercial production and sale of wimbi, as well as promoting the spread of intergenerational knowledge of the product. Only about 20 kg of the grain is harvested each season by small-scale farmers, most of which is destined for personal consumption. 

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Production area:Kibwezi and Nzaui districts

Other info


Cereals and flours

Indigenous community:Akamba