SMART AGRICULTURE PROJECT
68 farmers Self-Help Groups today received cheques amounting to Sh44M to facilitate their micro enterprise projects to thrive in value addition of livestock by-products and locally available farm based produce.
The project, an initiative between The County Government of Kajiado and The World Bank Group attracted 191 proposals from Self-Help Groups including Vulnerable and Marginalized Groups.
A total of 139 groups from Kajiado West, Kajiado South and Kajiado Central Sub Counties were approved for inclusion in the project.
Speaking during the occasion at the County Headquarters, H.E. Joseph Lenku said the value chain project is appropriate in view that livestock rearing and especially tomato farming have continued to stir business conversations in the County while cementing the backbone of agricultural production in the Kajiado.
“I am glad that the farming project targets community empowerment through value chain in tomato farming and meat production,” he added.
He said for the longest time women and children had been considered as the most vulnerable group in the society and termed the composition of the target groups by the project as noble.
Lenku was optimistic that the success of the project in the three pilot sub counties will hopefully upon proper evaluation attract more funding from The World Bank with more Wards benefiting from the program.
He committed to work closely with the World Bank in ensuring that more deserving ventures are funded in the near future as a way of empowering communities and the enhancing the livelihood of the people.
At the same time the Governor challenged the youth to embrace agri-business as source of employment and a means of alleviating poverty in their communities.
Agriculture and Livestock CEC, Jackline Koin said since its inception in 2017, the project has made major in-roads in teaching farmers on livestock and crop farming.
She added that the selection process for the target sub counties and Self-Help Groups was transparent with strict parameters set out in a baseline survey done in six Wards in Kajiado East, West and Central in 2007.
These included poverty levels in the Wards, vulnerability to climate risks , absence of similar initiatives to avoid duplication, presence of priority value chains, geographical proximity to Wards and presence of Ward Level technical officers.
The 68 farmers’ self-help groups that received their cheques today have been trained in modern farming techniques and business skills including proposal writing and marketing.
Those in attendance were Kajiado County MCAs, County Government Officers, Stakeholder representatives, Local leaders, farmers among others.