Embu County is among 21 counties set to benefit from a Sh21.2 billion National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP) funded by the World Bank.
The five year programme seeks to increase agricultural productivity and profitability of targeted rural communities in selected counties in Kenya.
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Further, the programme is expected to provide immediate and effective response in the event of an eligible crisis or emergency.
According to the Embu County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Livestock and Co-operatives Annie Nyaga, the programme will be implemented in all four sub counties and the 20 wards in the county.
“The primary beneficiaries are rural smallholder farmers, vulnerable marginalized groups organized in common interest groups of which 70 per cent are expected to federate into project objectives along value chains in Embu County” Annie said in a statement.
Those listed as vulnerable marginalised community members include the youth, the elderly, people living with disabilities, widowers, persons recovering from substance abuse and people living with HIV/AIDS.
“The criteria for the selection of the beneficiaries will be pegged on the wards’ potential to develop and improve the production of at least one of the value chains in dairy production, mango farming, indigenous poultry keeping and green grams”, she added.
The project will support the community through four investment windows which include sustainable land management and value chains, market oriented livelihood interventions, vulnerable marginalized groups and nutrition.
The levels of grants will range between Sh500,000 for a community contribution of 10 per cent, livelihood grant of Sh00,000 for a community contribution of 30 per cent and Sh100,000.00 for vulnerable and marginalised groups who will not be required to contribute any monies to access the grant.
Already, the county department of agriculture has started training and mobilizing farmers and interest groups in readiness for the implementation of the project.
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“Food Security is one of the Agenda 4 items prioritized by president Uhuru and we are moving full steam ahead in equipping farmers towards realization of this important goal through the support from the World Bank” Annie said.
Other counties selected for the funding include Turkana, Samburu, Makueni, Kitui, Meru, Kwale, Kilifi and Narok, Kirinyaga, Kiambu, Murang’a, Nakuru, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Vihiga, Kisii, Migori, Nyamira and Homa Bay.