Governor Waiguru disburses Ksh. 45.1 million to support farmers increase agricultural productivity
Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru on Wednesday disbursed Ksh. 45.1 million to farmers groups to enable them increase agricultural productivity. The funds will go to 118 farmers groups comprised of around 3,000 farmers drawn from Kirinyaga Central and Ndia constituencies. A total of 68 farmers groups from Kirinyaga Central received Ksh. 25.8 million while 50 groups from Ndia received Ksh. 19.3 million. The groups will use the funds to implement projects in poultry keeping, avocado, tomato, dairy, pig and fish farming among others.
Speaking in Kerugoya town and Baricho where she disbursed the funds, Waiguru said that that the groups were part of 314 groups that the county is supporting through the National Agricultural Rural Inclusive Growth Program (NARIGP) in which Ksh. 117 million kitty was set aside to assist farmers under Wezesha Economic Empowerment program. She said that the program is aimed at increasing agricultural productivity in the county thus enabling farmers earn extra income which will improve their living standards. She noted that poultry farmers will be assisted to rear improved Kienyenji chicken for mass egg production, complementing phase one of the one million eggs per month project. The farmers will also be given free chicks and chicken feeds for six months while all the eggs they produce will be sold on their behalf by Kirinyaga Investment Development Authority. (KIDA).
Tomato farmers will be assisted to construct greenhouses and install drip irrigation systems to enable them grow tomato varieties that are suitable for tomato processing which will done at a factory set to be built in Kangai. Avocado farmers will be provided with hass avocado seedlings with an aim of increasing production towards the construction of an avocado packhouse. The seedlings will be purchased from groups that were funded to establish nurseries during the first phase of the project that was initiated in 2019. The governor said that so far, the County Government has purchased seedlings worth Ksh. 15 million for distribution to farmers.
The funds will also support dairy farmers to improve their dairy cow breeds through Artificial Insemination (AI) for increased milk production. The governor noted that the County Government has already signed an agreement with the Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Center for provision of semen for about 1,800 farmers. Improved breeds are expected to produce 12 liters of milk per day per cow from the current production of five liters. Other groups have been funded to undertake pig farming whereby the county government will provide each of them with two sows, 15 piglets and free feeds for three months while fish farmers will benefit from fishpond liners and fingerings. Bee keeping groups will receive modern bee hives and honey harvesting kits.
At the same time Governor Waiguru enumerated various massive infrastructural development projects in various sectors such as health, roads, agriculture and urban upgrading.