By Nicholas Maina, 10 September 2020
The National Government, in conjunction with the World Bank, will finance youth and women to the tune of Ksh962 Million in Kwale County to transition from subsistence to commercial farming by 2022.
Under the Ksh 21 Billion National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP), smallholder farmers in the coast will be supported financially to increase agricultural productivity and profitability and create employment.
Crop Development and Agricultural Research Principal Secretary, Professor Hamadi Boga said that the NARIGP project being implemented in 21 counties further targets to achieve improved livelihoods and reduced vulnerabilities of targeted rural communities in the selected counties.
“This programme will be implemented by 2022 and we have allocated Ksh 962 Million for the various projects in Kwale County. Initiated in 2018, the project team has so far developed 615 micro project proposals at a cost of Ksh 213.6 million out of which 364 micro projects have been funded at a cost of Ksh127.4 million. The beneficiary communities have completed 149 micro-projects that have benefited a total of 11,480 farmers,” states Professor Boga while inspecting the implementation status of the various agriculture projects in Kwale County recently.
He added, “The programme is planned to support farmers through funding and capacity building community micro projects. The micro projects in Kwale are funded via four value chains -green grams, tomatoes, apiculture and dairy.”
Boga reiterated the national government’s commitment to safeguarding the livelihoods of the small-holder farmers to ensure food security and also the need to use agriculture as a source of gainful employment to the youth.
Boga confirmed that the money is being channeled directly to the beneficiaries -common interest groups, producer organisations and agricultural cooperative societies.
“I urge the youth and other farmers to take advantage of the favorable farming environment in the county, agree to form groups and take advantage of this programme to transition from subsistence to commercial farming”, he added.
Boga also disclosed that Ksh85.8million has been earmarked for the construction of a green gram processing plant for Kwale Pavi Farmers’ Cooperative Society and that the project was expected to directly benefit 7,000 members, mostly youth and women among other farmers.
Part of the support will also be channeled towards the rehabilitation of the Nyalani Irrigation Scheme at the cost of KSh57.6 million.
A further Ksh87.2 million will be spent to finance the establishment of the proposed Mwakalinga Irrigation Scheme dam. The scheme is further expected to provide water for domestic use to 1000 households and 5000 cattle during the dry seasons. The dam covers 75 acres of land and target to benefit 150 farmers.