Governor Anne Waiguru inspects ‘Wezesha Kirinyaga’ program
Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru has said that ‘Wezesha Kirinyaga’ economic empowerment program is poised to the county’s economic gamechanger. The program that focuses on diversification of agricultural activities with an aim of increasing household incomes was introduced in the county three years ago.
While inspecting the progress of implementation of pigs and tomato projects in Thiba ward, Mwea, the governor said that under Wezesha Kirinyaga, the county government has funded 473 farmers’ groups to the tune of Ksh. 172 million, to enable them undertake various agricultural projects. She said that the project currently has an impact on about 14,000 households, a number that is expected to rise with subsequent recruitment and funding of more groups with each of the participating households expected to make an extra Ksh. 1,000 per day from the supported projects. “Wezesha Kirinyaga provides farmers, among them women and youth with alternative livelihoods that will lead to more income and better standards of living”, said that governor.
Speaking at Mwihoko Women Group Tomato Project in Thiba, the governor said that 71 tomato farmers’ groups with an impact of about 2,000 households have been supported to increase tomato production and propagate varieties that are disease tolerant and suitable for processing. The county produces about 63,000 tons of tomatoes earning farmers around Ksh. 1.5 billion annually.
Waiguru also visited Thiba South Youth Group Pig project which is one of the 20 groups that have been supported by the county government to keep pigs. Each of the groups were given one sow pig that is already served and is expected to give birth in October as well as 15 weaner pigs that will be ready for sale after four months of rearing. She said that apart from the farmers earning income from sale of the pigs, there will be many women and youth working in pig transportation business, pork eateries as well as transportation of pig feeds among other support activities.
Waiguru said that at maturity, each pig is expected to fetch between Ksh. 17,000 and Ksh. 20,000 depending on weight. Kirinyaga Investment Development Authority (KIDA) will assist the farmers to sell their pigs. She said that to support the pig and tomato project, her administration will be constructing an abattoir and a tomato processing factory respectively.
Other projects funded under Wezesha Kirinyaga include egg production, dairy production, avocado farming, bee keeping and fish farming.
Waiguru noted that the Wezesha projects are not only in support of the county’s economic development agenda but will also contribute to the achievement of the Food Security goal of the Big Four Agenda.