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FARMERS’ FIELD SCHOOLS ENHANCE PRODUCTIVITY AND INCOME

Thange: March 22, 2024

Farmers’ Field Schools Enhance Productivity and Income

Numerous farmers have participated in the Farmer Field day events held at Thange and Mbitini wards.

The initiatives serve as a platform for acquiring knowledge from successful Farmers’ Field schools (FFS) teams, which received support from the National Agricultural Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP).

These groups demonstrated exemplary agricultural practices in tomato, Mango, green grams, and poultry value chains that have resulted in increased production and profitability.

Beneficiaries hailed FFS as an innovative approach that has positively impacted their behavior towards adopting improved skills and knowledge while exposing them to practical learning by doing techniques.

Makueni County NARIGP Coordinator Paul Musyimi graced the event on Friday in Thange, where he disclosed that over Sh 13 million had been invested to support 50 value chain groups in Thange Ward.

Additionally, he encouraged farmers to join saccos so they could access affordable credits through the National Agricultural Value Chain Development Project (NAVCDP), a new program aimed at commercialization.

MAKUENI, MINISTRY OF TOURISM MOOT JOINT TOURISM DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES

Makueni County and the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife have set the ball rolling towards joint tourism development and marketing.

During a tourism stakeholders meeting attended by players from both levels of government at Chyullu National Park on Friday, several approaches were fronted that will make Makueni a top tourist destination and boost local revenue.

These are:

1. Regularizing and promoting the South Eastern Kenya tourism circuit;

2. Working with industry players to set up hotels and tour agency investments around Chyulu;

3. Rehabilitation of Makindu airstrip;

4. Setting up four entry gates to Chyullu National Park at Makindu, Kaunguni, Metava and Katheka Kai with a view of promoting domestic tourism.

The meeting graced by Cabinet Secretary Dr. Alfred Mutua and Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr also agreed to develop a formula for sharing carbon credit revenue realized from the park.

Dr. Mutua promised to expedite completion of the electric fence around the park to put a permanent stop to the human-wildlife conflict that has left a long trail of death and destruction of property and crops in the larger Kibwezi area.

AVOCADO FARMERS RECEIVE ORGANIC FERTILIZER

Ilima Ward: March 20, 2024

Avocado Farmers Receive Organic Fertilizer

A total of 306 avocado farmers from Ilima Ward have received 15.3 metric tonnes of organic fertilizer to bolster productivity.

The initiative is a ward project which was requested by the farmers through public participation.

The distribution exercise was led by Agriculture and Irrigation Chief Officer Dr. Victoria Kyallo on Wednesday at the Ward Administration office.

COUNTY FIRST LADY ANITA MUTULA HAS COMMISSIONED MAKUENI’S 308TH ECDE CLASS AT KWA KYAI PRIMARY SCHOOL IN KIKUMBULYU SOUTH WARD.

County First Lady Anita Mutula has commissioned Makueni’s 308th ECDE class at Kwa Kyai Primary School in Kikumbulyu South Ward. Her Foundation [Anita Mbinya Foundation] has also donated 1,000 kiddie chairs and 125 tables to be distributed to other 30 ECDE centres across the county.

The donation is courtesy of a partnership with Lapfund and Moran Publishers as the First Lady strives to complement Makueni County Government’s development efforts through her network of partners.

While commissioning the Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) classroom today, H. E Anita Mutula has emphasized the need to have water harvesting facilities for every model ECDE class constructed.

CECM Education, ICT, and Internship confirmed that all ECDE classes have and will continue to boast customized infrastructure for the young learners’ needs and fulfill the governor’s promise that ECDE classes will be the best in each school they are put up.

GOVERNOR MUTULA KILONZO JR LEADS A PUBLIC PARTICIPATION FORUM FOR CONSTRUCTION OF WOTE MODERN MARKET UNDER THE ECONOMIC STIMULUS PROGRAMME (ESP) MARKETS

Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jr leads a public participation forum for construction of Wote mordern market under the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) Markets. ESP is a multi-billion project initiative being undertaken jointly by the National and County Governments intended to boost Kenya’s economic growth targeting small scale traders.

During the event, a Project Management Committee for the affordable housing program in Makueni was elected. Ground breaking for this program is expected soon.

FARMERS RECEIVE DROUGHT- RESISTANT SEEDS

2000 farmers drawn from 8 distinct Wards in Makueni have received 4 metric tonnes of assorted certified seeds for sorghum, cowpeas and green grams from the County Government of Makueni in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Some of the areas that have benefitted are Ukia, Kako-Waia and Makindu who have received cowpeas while Kalawa, Mtito-Andei and Masongaleni have received green grams. Others are Ivingoni-Nzambani and Thange Wards where farmers have received sorghum.

Agriculture Executive Joyce Mutua said the selected wards were targeted due to the low rainfall predicted for the long rains period of March, April and May 2024. She further added that the resilient seeds will help boost food security.

Speaking at Mukuyuni on Tuesday when distributing seeds to Ukia farmers, Mutua encouraged all farmers to plant drought-resistant crops adding that the Meteorological Department has predicted low rainfall in Makueni.

LAST MILE WATER CONNECTIONS TRANSFORM LIVES IN MAKUENI’S RURAL HOUSEHOLDS

Waking up at 3 am to queue for a spot to fetch water from the available distant water points has for long been a way of life for many residents in Makueni. Donkeys carrying heavy loads of water jerricans has been a common feature one can’t miss even in Wote town, the county’s capital.

Water vendors have thrived, often charging exorbitant prices for a 20-litre jerrican of water, especially during the dry season when many of the rivers have run dry.  In some parts of the county, a 20-litre jerrican goes for Shs 50 during the dry season.

To remedy this situation, Makueni’s Department of Water and Sanitation has crafted an ambitious water development plan, extending water connections from sources to households, known as the “last mile” connections.

One such area benefiting from these connections is Nthangu location, where residents have experienced real transformation. Pastor Thomas Wambua, a resident with a connection in his compound explains that his family can now engage in productive farming, unlike before, where he had to spend Shs 1,000 weekly to pump water from Kamunyii stream using a petrol-powered pump. His church has also registered a higher turn up on Sundays.

The County Government constructed a sand dam and underground sump at the confluence of Kaiti and Kamunyii rivers and installed a mega solar power system to distribute water to more than 10,000 residents and four schools in Kiatine and Nthangu villages. 100 households have obtained last-mile connections by paying a small fee, Pastor Wambua among them.

In Mavindini Ward, Burnice Mutiso is optimistic that completion of Ngosini Concrete Dam will transform her life. “When this dam fills up, I intent to venture into horticultural farming full time. This area is highly productive, but water has been the biggest challenge,” she says. Burnice hawks food to workers at the dam construction site. The dam borders her family land.

The department has prioritized last-mile connections as a solution to the long distances people walk to the nearest water point.

This will be achieved through investment in a main centralized water infrastructure project in each ward (One Ward, One Main Water project); and the use of digital metering and payment in the 30 water projects.  

Further, the water supply expansion initiative will involve desilting, expanding and rehabilitation of earth dams; construction of sand dams with sumps; drilling and equipping of boreholes, construction and/ or extension of 160 Kms of pipeline with water kiosks.

In the Financial Year 2024/25, the Department of Water and Sanitation plans to connect at least 1,000 households per ward to clean and safe water by implementing the last mile water infrastructure programme.

This initiative is expected to increase the proportion of rural households accessing piped water from 30% to 50% and urban households from 7,939 in 2022 to 10,920 in 2025.

Currently the department is undertaking massive investments along River Athi to draw, treat and supply water from the river. These include Athi Kalawa water project, Athi Tunguni Water Project, Athi Mavindini Water project.

FARMERS RECEIVE SEEDS FOR PASTURE ESTABLISHMENT

Over 125 farmers residing in Mavindini Ward have received pasture seed (Ndata Kivumbu- African Foxtail) by the Makueni County Government.

The primary objective of the initiative is to expand pasture acreage land and livestock feed resources, leading to enhanced productivity levels, as well as improving food and nutrition security.
Furthermore, it aims at augmenting household incomes and livelihoods by enabling farmers to vend their pastures.
The decision to select this particular seed variety was based on its climate appropriateness and public participation requests by the locals.
The distribution exercise was presided over by Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative Development Chief Officer Japheth Kiminza who was accompanied by his director David Musyoki.