Kirinyaga farmers reap big out of county government project

By Kamundia Muriithi

Farmers’ groups in Kirinyaga County are now an elated lot after they started reaping big from their projects which were funded by the County government.

Governor Ann Waiguru’s administration through a program dubbed Wezesha Kirinyaga has offered support to over 473 groups by providing them with livestock, veterinary services, feeds and market for their products.

The program has seen the groups engage in agribusiness projects which include poultry, piggery, Bee keeping, tomato and avocado farming, fish and dairy farming which have proved to be profitable and sustainable.

Several groups received chicks. Among them was Kutus Muslim Community Self Help group which received 1,250 three-month old improved kienyenji chicks.

Six Months later the group has already started earning from the project through selling eggs and Chicken. During the festive season last year they made a killing from the sale of chicken whose demand skyrocketed.

The group chairman, Yaheh Juma revealed that they sold about 100 cocks each going at Sh1, 000, and have plan to sell another batch of around 500 cocks.

He added that apart from selling eggs they also carry out hatching in order to restock their brood.

 “The project is a timely intervention by the county government that is economically empowering us. We deposit all the money from sales into the group’s savings accounts with the aim of accumulating it and creating a capital base for each member to initiate their own projects,” he said.

Amina Wairimu, a group member, said she has learnt a lot about poultry keeping and that the project has enhanced cohesion among members and the community as well.

Governor Waiguru said her administration provides the required technical support and training on poultry keeping, free chicken feeds and source market for the farmers.

Another successful community group, Kangu Thayu self-help in Gichugu constituency is into pig rearing.

About 20 farmers groups were each given an expectant sow and 15 weaned pigs. They were also provided with free pig feeds for the first two months of the project.  

Some of the groups prefer pigs for meat production, while other groups are venture into selling piglets to other farmers within their localities. 

Moses Murimi, who is the Kirimunge Shiners Group Chairman, said even though most members previously did not have the knowledge to rear pigs, they were taken through training and they are now competent.

He expressed hope that the project will help them greatly, noting that the Duroc pig variety that was given to them is so profitable since it’s a fast maturing breed of which at maturity each pig is expected to fetch between Sh17, 000 and Sh20, 000 depending on its weight. 

“Apart from the farmers earning income from sale of the pigs, there will be many women and youth working in pig transportation business, pork eateries, as well as feed production and sales, among other support activities,” she said.

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