Farmers’ groups in Kirinyaga have received Sh45.1 million from the county government which is meant to enable them increase agricultural productivity.
The funds, disbursed by Governor Anne Waiguru, will go to 3,000 farmers in 118 groups in Kirinyaga Central and Ndia constituencies.
The funds will be used for poultry keeping, avocado, tomato, dairy, pig and fish farming among other projects.
Speaking in Kerugoya town and in Baricho when she disbursed the funds, Ms Waiguru said that that the groups are part of 314 that the county is supporting through the National Agricultural Rural Inclusive Growth Program (NARIGP) in which Sh117 million was set aside to assist farmers under the Wezesha economic empowerment programme.
Earn extra income
She said the programme is aimed at increasing agricultural productivity in the county, thus enabling farmers earn extra income which will in turn improve their living standards.
She noted that poultry farmers will be assisted to rear improved kienyenji chickens for mass egg production, complementing phase one of the one million eggs per month project. The farmers will also be given free chicks and chicken feed for six months while all the eggs they produce will be sold on their behalf by Kirinyaga Investment Development Authority. (Kida).
Tomato farmers will be assisted to build greenhouses and install drip irrigation systems to enable them grow varieties that are suitable for processing at a factory which will be built in Kangai.
Avocado farmers will be provided with Hass avocado seedlings which will be purchased from groups that were funded to establish nurseries during the first phase of the project that was initiated in 2019. The governor said that so far, the county government has purchased seedlings worth Sh15 million for distribution to farmers.
The funds will also support dairy farmers to improve their cow breeds through artificial insemination for increased milk production. The governor noted that her administration has already signed an agreement with the Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre for provision of semen for about 1,800 farmers. The improved breeds are expected to produce 12 litres of milk per day per cow from the current five litres.
At the same time, Governor Waiguru has assured medical practitioners in the county of her support in order to deliver quality services to the people.
She said apart from improving working conditions for doctors, nurses and other medical service providers, her administration has at all times ensured its staff are paid on time and their deductions remitted in good time.
Speaking when she met the newly elected Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) central branch officials at her residence in Kagio, the governor said she is committed to transforming the health sector in the county through building of new medical facilities, upgrading of the existing ones and addressing the welfare of workers.
She said her administration will employ more doctors, nurses and other medical workers to work in the newly-built medical complex at the Kerugoya Level Five Hospital and Kimbimbi and Kianyaga hospitals, which she said will be upgraded to level four this year as funds have already been allocated for that purpose.
“The infrastructural development will be complemented by an expanded workforce which will create room for absorption of more medics and also enhance service delivery,” she said.
She noted that many health workers’ issues can be resolved through dialogue, adding that it has taken a lot of effort from her administration to ensure that despite constrained resources, provision of healthcare services is always a priority.
She urged the KPMDU officials to ensure that their union focuses on the common good of Kirinyaga residents as opposed to leaning towards activism which leads to disruption of services.
“All that the residents care about is good service delivery. Let’s all strive to achieve that,” the governor said.
On their part, the KPMDU officials pledged to forge a harmonious working relationship with the governor for the delivery of quality healthcare in the county.
They said that good working relations between the county government and the union will go a long way in enhancing service delivery.
The union’s chairman, Dr James Maina Githinji, expressed satisfaction for the massive infrastructural and service delivery reforms that the county government has implemented in the health sector.
“We have seen the new hospital complex coming up at Kerugoya, which demonstrates your commitment in improving the health sector. Kirinyaga is also one of the counties where workers are paid on time and their deductions remitted in a timely manner,” said Dr Githinji.