The Ministry of Agriculture has released Ksh 138 million to settle debts owed to cane farmers in Kakamega County.
Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said that he has already received the funds from the Cabinet Secretary (CS) of Agriculture Peter Munya and that the farmers would receive their monies in the course of this week.
He was speaking at the multipurpose hall in Masinde Muliro University during a COVID-19 disease sensitization meeting for elders from Kakamega County on Monday.
Other leaders present included Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, governors Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia), Wilber Ottichilo (Vihiga) and Bungoma’s Wycliffe Wangamati.
The governor said his administration in support of the national government has identified a number of flagship projects that would promote socio-economic development in the region.
They include revival of the sugar, coffee, BT Cotton and dairy sectors, the construction of check dams and dykes along River Nzoia to control flooding.
Other projects are the construction and completion of ongoing roads projects, rehabilitation of infrastructure destroyed by floods and upgrading of the Kakamega air strip to an international airport.
“Plans are also in place to construct a granite plant in Vihiga and establish a gold smelting industry in Kakamega, the implementation of the greater Mt. Elgon-Busia Water Project, the construction of Kakamega-Bungoma bulk water dam and the commencement of Kabolet phase II water project,” he said.
Meanwhile, the elders and area leaders unanimously agreed that governor Oparanya, CS Eugene Wamalwa and COTU Secretary Francis Atwoli would be the spokespersons of the region.
Elsewhere, the expansion of the multi-million Thiha-Sagana irrigation project in Nyeri County has commenced with its completion expected to change the economic fortunes of local people.
The project which will provide both drinking and irrigation water to over 1,500 people from the current 300 recently received an injection of Ksh.34 million.
In mid-June, the county government handed over the site to the contractor signaling the commencement of the expansion project.
The project situated in Mukurwe-ini sub-county is projected to benefit tens of farmers including some 500 who practice sweet potato farming and is projected to be completed by the end of this year.
The funding of the project jointly by the Nyeri county government and the World Bank through the Kenya Smart Climate Agriculture Project (KSCAP) will ensure food security and dietary improvement among residents of the sub-county and its environs.
KSCAP seeks to increase agricultural productivity and build resilience to climate change risks in the targeted smallholder farming and pastoral communities in Kenya.
Famers in the Thiha Sagana irrigation project will benefit from the strengthening of climate smart agricultural research and seeds propagation systems.
The funding will see the project expand from the current 60 to 112 hectares thus increasing almost two fold the number of farmers able to access reliable water for irrigation.
The expanded project is expected to financially empower the local population including the youth through creation of employment opportunities.
The county government has also allocated the project land to put up an office and donated 4,060 pipes worth Ksh 2 million.