Over 40,000 farmers to benefit from Sh2b Danish funded project

Maize at a farm in Moiben, Uasin Gishu County. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

More than 40,000 farmers spread across 13 counties are set to benefit from a value chain support initiative courtesy of Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust (MESPT).

The five-year programme launched on Thursday last week at KTL Farm in Birunda, Trans Nzoia County, entails support to farmers to access to financing, increasing farmers' commercial enterprises, the introduction of green transformation and improved food safety.

MESPT Chairman Mr Charles Nyawande, who also led the entity in marking its 20th anniversary, disclosed that Sh2 billion has been earmarked for the project financed by the Danish government and partners.

He noted access to financing was a challenge with most banks charging high interests of about 13 per cent.

Microfinance institutions charged interest rates of up to 18 per cent, making it expensive to repay from the minimal farm returns.

Mr Nyawande noted that MESPT is working with lenders to fund farmers with low-interest rates of 10 per cent.

This, he noted, will enable them to expand their commercial agricultural enterprises with ease.

Mr Nyawende said MESPT anticipates that the farmers will have made a turnover of at least Sh6 billion.

“We look for markets for their produce and do backward linkages to them so that they can concentrate on production and supply to the found market,” said Nyawande.

He noted that farmers would earn better from their ventures even as they contribute to enhancing food security in the country.

County Agriculture Executive Mary Nzomo said the programme would help improve productivity, noting that Trans Nzoia is among the first four counties where the programme has already taken off.  

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