Governor Kivutha Kibwana and his deputy Adelina Mwau on Thursday flagged off 30MT of maize seed worth Kshs. 7.5M for distribution to 15,000 farmers across the county a head of the October-December short rains.
The consignment, which is support from Bayer East Africa, is part of the county government’s efforts working with its partners to enhance food security initiatives.
The initiatives target to support 47,382 farm families, 75 youth groups and 118 other groups with seeds, seedlings and equipment to improve food and nutrition security in the county. The target beneficiaries are spread across all the thirty wards in Makueni County in line with the county government’s philosophy of “O kila nyumba kalila.”
The overall goal of the initiatives, governor Kibwana said, is to cushion the farmer against the effects of covid-19 pandemic by ensuring availability of quality seed and seedlings for enhanced productivity and profitability at farm level. This is to be achieved through a collaborative effort between the government and stakeholders as follows:
1. Bayer E.A, supporting with 30,000 Kgs of maize seed (worth KShs 7.5M), targeting 15,000 (500 per ward) beneficiaries
2. Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme – Climate Resilient Agricultural Livelihood (KCEP-CRAL), a government programme, targeting to reach out to 5,297 beneficiaries with an assortment of maize/beans and sorghum/green grams seeds as well as other farm inputs (ripping service, hermetic bags, tarpaulin, fertilizers). The programme will also support 20 staff with motorbikes to enhance their mobility when offering extension services.
3. Small-scale Irrigation and Value Addition Project (SIVAP) targeting 540 beneficiaries with beans, cow peas, green grams, dolichos lab, millets, and sorghum seeds for demonstrations and bulking in the project areas (Utangwa, Kyemwee Irrigation schemes and Muoni/Kikuu Catchment – Makindu, Nguu/Masumba, Emali/Mulala, Mbitini and Kasikeu wards).
4. The National Irrigation Board (NIB) is supporting the initiative with 7,000 avocado seedlings which will be distributed to Kilungu, Mbitini, Ukia, Mbooni, Kithungo/Kitundu, and Tulimani wards. (10 seedlings per farmer).
5. The Government of Makueni County (GMC) will support the initiative with 10,000 avocado seedlings and 1,500 macadamia seedlings under ward projects in Mukaa and Ilima wards. (10 seedlings per farmer).
6. The Agriculture and Food Authority’s Nuts & Oil Crops will support the initiative with 5,000 cashew nut seedlings which will be distributed to 500 beneficiaries across the county at 10 seedlings per farmer.
7. The Makueni Youth Agribusiness Empowerment Project (MYAEP) will support 60 youth groups as follows;
a. 10 groups with beehives, honey harvesting kits, honey extracting machines,
b. 10 groups with chicken,
c. 20 groups with pumps, drip irrigation kits, vegetable seeds and farm inputs (fertilizers and agrochemicals).
d. 20 groups for capacity building (skills development)
e. The project has also supported 8 staff with motorbikes to enhance their mobility when offering extension services.