Waiguru disburses Ksh.117 million to support farmer groups in Kirinyaga
Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru on Wednesday disbursed Ksh.117 million to fund farmers groups to undertake various projects aimed at increasing agricultural productivity in the county.
The funds will go into implementation of the second phase of National Agricultural Rural Inclusive Growth (NARIG) projects which include poultry, dairy, avocado, tomato and pig production among others. The projects are being implemented by 314 community groups comprised of about 8,000 households.
While disbursing the cheques to the various groups, Governor Waiguru said that the funded projects are part of Wezesha Kirinyaga program which is aimed at making agricultural activities translate to better incomes and improved livelihoods of the county residents.
She said that the projects will economically empower residents by enabling them diversify their agricultural activities to reduce overdependence on traditional cash crops whose prices are unreliable.
Among the 314 groups are 45 poultry groups, 60 tomato groups, 30 avocado groups, 60 dairy groups and 20 groups each among pig farmers, bee keepers, incubators, fish farmers, vulnerable and marginalized groups and 19 nutrition groups.
The poultry farmers groups have been funded to the tune of Ksh.22.5 million to undertake mass egg production projects. The governor said that the county will provide each of the groups with 1,250 improved Kienyenji chicks adding that the project will complement the ongoing phase 1 project in which 32 groups are already producing eggs.
The county will also provide chicken feeds for the farmers for the first six months of the project while marketing of the eggs is done through Kirinyaga Investment Development Authority (KIDA).
The tomato growing groups will receive Ksh.30 million for construction of greenhouses and drip irrigation systems to enable them grow tomato varieties suitable for processing. The project is tied to the proposed tomato processing factory that will add value and address post-harvest tomato loses.
Further, Ksh.15 million will go towards supporting avocado growing groups with hass avocado seedlings with an aim of increasing production geared towards feeding a proposed avocado pack house while Ksh.30 million goes to the dairy sector towards improvement of cow breeds through improved Artificial Insemination (AI) program.
The 20 pig farmers groups will be supported with Ksh.4 million which will go towards getting each of the groups a mother sow and 20 piglets. The county also plans to construct a pig abattoir.
Bee keepers will be supported with Ksh.4 million which will go towards acquiring 25 beehives and honey harvesting kits for each of the group.
Twenty groups will be supported with Ksh.4 million towards installation of incubators each with a capacity of hatching 1000 chicks which will be sold to the poultry production groups.
To boost fish farming in the county, fish farmers will be given Ksh. 4 million worth of fish pond liners and fingerings while Ksh.2 million will be given to vulnerable and marginalized groups to enable them undertake income generating activities of their choice such as soup making.
Nineteen groups will be supported with Ksh. 950,000 to enable them produce and process local vegetables with an aim of boosting the nutrition status of the county.
Governor Waiguru said that Kirinyaga being an agricultural county, her administration has been committed to ensuring that farmers get value from their produce.