Agriculture, cooperatives receive huge chunks in Machakos county budget estimates

Farmers in various cooperative societies across Machakos County stand to gain following the huge allocation for the agriculture sector in the county’s Ksh14.75 billion 2023/2024 budget proposal.

County Finance Executive Committee Member Onesmus Kuyu said agriculture was allocated Ksh904 million to enable farmers access affordable agricultural inputs, add value to their produce and enhance marketing through their cooperative societies and community based organizations.

Ksh27.4 million was allocated to cooperatives to facilitate the purchase of equipment, marketing, promotion and agro-processing.

He added that the 2023/2024 budget proposal is based on the government’s socio-economic policy of transforming the livelihoods of county residents through ‘Chakula Mezani, Pesa Mfukoni’ initiative and has prioritized three key pillars: food security, socio-economic empowerment and infrastructural development.

“These priorities include upgrading of rural access roads to enable farmers conveniently transport their produce to the markets, direct financial support to farmers through their cooperative societies to enable them increase their productivity and a master plan for water reticulation and redistribution within the county,” he said.

Ksh718.5 million was allocated to water resource management, irrigation, sewerage systems and sanitation, addressing climate change, construction of silos and purchase of motorcycles to enhance ward-based farm extension services.

“The importance of farmers’ cooperative societies in the growth of the economy cannot be over-emphasized. The government is keen on initiating and supporting existing community based cooperative societies particularly in the areas of coffee, dairy, avocado and bee-keeping,” said Kuyu.

The CECM stated that the budget aims to empower the people of Machakos and transform the county into a model of excellence in governance and economic prosperity.

The budget is an increment of 27 per cent from the ksh12 billion budget for the 2022/23 fiscal year.

“It should be noted that there has been an increased revenue collection which has in turn led to the increase in budgetary estimates,” said Kuyu.

He said increase in revenue collection has been achieved through several fiscal discipline measures including enhanced automation and the consolidation of 211 pay bill numbers into a single pay bill number (1616160) among other measures.

Kuyu pointed out that streamlining resource utilization within departments was a key factor in the budget as it would eradicate the perennial burden of pending bills. 

The total proposed expenditure of Ksh14.75 billion comprises Ksh9.6 billion recurrent expenditure and Ksh5.1 billion development expenditure.

By Stephen Muthini

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