To diversify enterprises amongst farmers, the department has introduced promoted the stevia crop. Stevia rebaudiana commonly known as ‘sweet leaf’, is widely grown for its sweet leaves, as a natural sweetener and an alternative to sugar (250–300 times the sweetness of sugar). Stevia cuttings have been sourced from Kericho and Meru counties and distributed to 120 farmers in the highland areas of Githunguri, Lari, Limuru, Gatundu North and Gatundu South.
The County Government sponsored 20 farmers and 8 extension staff for a study tour on stevia growing at Kericho. A marketer (Pure Circle) has been identified and has committed (through an MoU) to purchase all the stevia that Kiambu farmers will grow.