By Collins Akong’o
Farmers in Kwale County will benefit from a Kshs. 85 million green grams factory to be constructed in the region.
The project to serve about 7,000 small scale farmers will be constructed for Kwale Pavi Farmers’ Cooperative Society.
It is part of the Sh21 billion National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP) aimed at supporting 21 counties.
The programme, which is a partnership with the World Bank, seeks to increase agricultural productivity and profitability leading to improved livelihoods and reduced vulnerabilities among rural communities in the selected counties.
“The program is planned to support farmers through funding and capacity building of community micro projects In Kwale they are funded via four value chains that include green grams, tomatoes, apiculture and dairy,” said Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga.
The PS said 364 groups have been funded and 251 groups are awaiting clearance for funding under the five-year programmer that runs up to 2022.
He said so far, Sh962 million has so far been disbursed to various projects in Kwale County.
He urged youth and other farmers in the county to take advantage of the favourable environment by forming groups to transition from subsistence to commercial farming.
Prof Boga reiterated the national government’s commitment to safeguarding the livelihoods of the smallholder farmers to ensure food security for all, as well as the need to use agriculture as a source of gainful employment, especially among the youth.
The government has been luring youths into farming through incentives such as giving them farm inputs and capital.
The farming demography in Kenya is currently aging with over 60 percent of farmers in the country being over 55 years.
Kwale is a productive county with favorable climate for dairy and crop farming. Other crops produced in the country include sugarcane and cashew nuts.