Over 160 community-led development initiatives in Makueni have received Sh 33 million funding by World Bank through the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP).
The overarching goal of the project is to increase agricultural productivity and profitability of targeted communities in selected counties, and in the event of an eligible crisis or emergency, to provide immediate and effective response.
The small-scale farmers, drawn from 20 wards across the county, have ventured into tomato, mango, indigenous chicken and green grams value chains and were competitively identified through vetting of proposals which had to meet set eligibility criteria.
According to the Agriculture CEC Lawrence Nzunga, priority was placed on micro-projects that have the potential to increase agricultural productivity and incomes, value addition, and links to markets; and sustain natural resources base and returns to targeted communities.
Makueni County Governor Kivutha Kibwana, while presenting the cheques to the successful groups at ATC Kwakathoka on Friday, urged farmers to focus on community-led agriculture as the surest way of enhancing food security at household level.
“I urge farmers in all the wards to venture into community-led agriculture that will help us achieve food security and save us from poverty and “Mwolyo” menace,” said Kibwana.
Kibwana asked the farmers to use the funds prudently towards implementing the proposed projects and ensure that they are successful enough to attract more funding.
A County Technical Advisory Committee is already in place to provide the monitoring and evaluation component while Community-Driven Development Committees will assist the communities to plan, implement and manage the interventions.
By the end of the project in 2021, 570 project proposals will have been funded to benefit 17,100 small holder farmers across the county.