Farmers across Embu County who lost their crops, livestock and pasture following desert locust invasion four years ago have received Sh. 21.3 Million as compensation from World Bank.
The funds channeled through Government Emergency Locust Response Program (ELRP) is set to benefit 120 farmers’ groups affected by invasion of various swarms leading to loss of livelihoods.
The groups spread across nine Wards received compensation for various value chains including dairy goats rearing, poultry, bee keeping, fodder and crops such as maize, green grams and cowpeas.
Speaking while handing over cheques to beneficiaries at Talent Academy Grounds in Embu Town on Wednesday, Governor Cecily Mbarire said the initiative aimed at assisting farmers get back on their feet following the losses occasioned by the locusts’ invasion.
She said they will work closely with the groups to aggregate the monies so that procurement, especially of the animals can be done in bulk to benefit from economies of scale.
“I will personally together with area MCAs deliver them once they are procured to be sure the money has gone where it should and there is real impact and value for the money we are giving to the farmers,” she said.
The county boss also directed that all crop seeds be sourced from KARLO for quality control and productivity.
“We want to buy certified seeds that we are sure will not fail the farmers,” she said, while asking the beneficiaries to use the funds for the intended purpose.
The beneficiaries appreciated the gesture, saying it will go a long way in assisting them to recover from the losses they incurred after the pests destroyed their crops and pasture.
Samuel Mbogo from Nginda Ward where six groups received Sh. 1.4 Million for dairy goat, chicken and bee restocking as well as pasture, said they were certain the funds will assist them get back on foot again.
Another farmer, Jane Muthoni, from Evurore Ward said they lost all the crops in their farms leading to death of their animals for lack of pasture and the funds will assist them recoup the losses.
She said the invasion left them in a precarious situation of seeking for relief food that year while many learners dropped out of school for lack of food.