At least 7,500 smallholder maize farmers in Tharaka Nithi, Embu and Meru counties have benefited from Sh102 million worth of fertiliser from Yara East Africa Company under the Yara Action Africa Initiative.
Speaking during the flagging off of the consignments for the three counties at Chuka town in Tharaka-Nithi County on Friday, the company’s commercial manager Vitalis Wafula said more than 73,000 maize farmers in 22 counties will benefit from the donation worth Sh800 million.
“Each farmer will receive three bags to boost harvest in order to ensure food security, which is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda.
Our target is to support the production of 173,000 tonnes of maize that will feed more than a million people for a year,” said Wafula.
Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki who is also the Council of Governors (CoG) Agriculture chairman lauded the initiative, saying it was emphasising the importance of public-private partnerships in the revitalisation of the agriculture sector during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the initiative was also important since government resources were continually being constrained due to the Covid-19 pandemic and other related socioeconomic impacts, which negatively affect productive sectors, including agriculture.
Meru County Agriculture executive Carol Mutiga said with the mean budgets in the counties, governments are not able to provide free farm inputs and fertilisers to all farmers and thus the company comes in to compliment them.
Her Embu Counterpart Dr Jamlick Muturi said the initiative provides a good model for how the private sector and individual companies can step up, in partnership with African institutions, governments, and organisations to help sustain production and food supply chains and safeguard the people at risk during this pandemic.
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