According to the Projectâs Manager Mr Nelson Korir, research carried out by the Government in 1983 and 1988 showed the two districts were leading in poverty levels in Nyanza Province. This is when the project was first mooted.
"Agricultural yields were also found to be too low," said Korir.
A total of Sh3.147 billion will be spent, which include a contribution by the Government and a grant from the Africa Development Fund.
By reducing poverty, the project will have a major impact on many aspects of peopleâs lives. High poverty levels in the area have led to a rising school drop out rate.
Children drop out in droves to work and eke a living for their families.
Girls are more vulnerable as they end up involving themselves in sexual immorality, leading to early pregnancies, the spread of HIV/Aids and early marriages.
By empowering residents, the project, which falls under the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities, will address these issues.
However, the poverty in Nyanza has also been attributed to poor leadership and political isolation. Some economists hold that the cotton industry, which used to earn the region millions of shillings in the 1980s, was deliberately destroyed.
The projectâs senior agronomist, Mr Amos Amenya, said a major increase in yields is expected since the soils are fertile. This will improve livelihoods.
"The main reason poverty is a serious issue in this region is that farmers have been relying on rains. However, they have been unreliable," he said.
Farmers have been advised to grow both food and cash crops. This is through the establishment of the farmersâ field schools. Residents are also being taught entrepreneurial skills.