USE OF PURSLANE AS A PHYTOREMEDIATOR FOR FRENCH BEAN PRODUCTION IN SALINE SOILS OF NYATIKE, MIGORI COUNTY.
French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), also known as snap bean, is important in the socio- economic systems and livelihoods in Kenya (Monda et al., 2003) and is one of the major vegetable export crops for East Africa. The crop has propelled Kenya to the pinnacle of greatness as a horticultural nation. Much of French bean in Kenya is mainly grown by small scale farmers, purely for export as a source of family income (Okello et al., 2007). These are farmers who own between 0.5-5.0 ha of land (Ndegwa et al., 2010). They account for 60% of all vegetable exports and 21% of horticultural exports (Nderitu et al., 2007). Although the crop is mainly grown for export in Kenya, there is growing popularity in domestic consumption particularly in the urban centers (voor den Dag, 2003; MOA, 2008). The main varieties grown in Kenya for either fresh market or processing include Paulista, Monel, Amy, Impala, Samantha, Teresa, Alexandra, Star and Julia (Ndegwa et al., 2010). In South western Kenya, particularly in Nyatike, French bean production was introduced by the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Agriculture in 2012 so as to alleviate poverty and ensure house-hold food security since the area does not have any cash crop.