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Counties get Sh12.7 million worth of seedlings

Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries Chief Administrative Secretary Anne Nyaga assesses a kitchen garden at Kilimo House in Nairobi. This is part of the Government's project to boost food and security. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The government has released seeds, seedlings and farm inputs worth Sh12.7 million to be distributed to farmers in 11 counties.

The counties are Makueni, Kajiado, Machakos, Bomet, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Nyeri, Tana River, Murang’a, Nyandarua and Kitui.

The project is part of the Small Scale Irrigation and Value Addition Programme (SIVAP) funded by Africa Development Bank (AfDB), a grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) and the Government of Kenya.

The farm input package is part of the Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Programme (DRSLP) initiative which also includes rehabilitation of irrigation schemes, water pans and earth dams, boreholes, shallow wells and sand dams.

Speaking during the flagging off event Kilimo House in Nairobi, Agriculture Principal Secretary Prof Hamadi Boga said so far, the project has reached 106,900 households in pastoralists and agro-pastoralist communities.

"To address the need for food and nutrition security as well as income generation, the Ministry through the Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) has planned to set up demonstrations plots for crops, livestock fodder production and kitchen gardens as a Covid-19 response initiative," said Prof Boga.

The ongoing SIVAP projects include 12 irrigation schemes, 38 water pans, 17 boreholes, eight shallow wells and sand dams, five grading shades, four livestock sale yards and rehabilitation of 65 kilometers of rural roads.

In the 2020 March-May showers of rain, seeds and seedlings worth Sh7.8 million were bought and distributed to SIVAP counties.

The counties have managed to set up 220 demonstration plots for crops and livestock fodder. Through projects’ support the Ministry launched the One Million Kitchen Garden Initiative in Makueni County in June 2020.

Prof Boga said the Ministry has set aside Sh500 million to support the one million kitchen garden initiative through provision of kitchen garden kits to 213,090 households in 21 counties.

"The Ministry through the project established a demonstration and learning site with 15 kitchen garden technologies at Ministry Headquarters which was launched in September, 2020," said Boga.

Today’s consignment included various seeds from amaranthus, cowpeas, dhania, pulses and cereals, water melon, finger millet and fodder as well as fruit seedlings such as yellow passion, macadamia, tree tomato, avocado, oranges, mango and pawpaw.

He noted that when the Ministry did an analysis of several value chains, what came at the top and with the greatest potential was macadamia, in terms of high income value chain.

The government has during this time of Covid-19, emphasised on the need to ensure household members have strong immunity by producing and consuming nutritious vegetables. 

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