Miraa farmers in Nyambene region, Meru County will begin accessing Kshs. 5 million kitty that has been established by the county government to cushion them from the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
Miraa farmers in Nyambene who depend on the crop as a key income source have witnessed reduced income over the last two years with the closure of essential markets being one of the major setbacks prior to covid outbreak
As a result, many people especially from Maua town, the epicenter of miraa business have either vacated the town altogether or sought other ventures for sustenance.
It is as a result of this that the Meru County government considered setting aside some funds to cushion the farmers from these effects even as they struggle to seek the opening of the closed markets and securing of new ones.
The funds issued to Nyambene Miraa Sacco will be lent out as loans to its more than 3800 members across Igembe and Tigania regions.
In a meeting led by Deputy Governor Titus Ntuchiu and other top officials, the County Government through Meru Microfinance issued the cheque to Sacco officials led by Miraa Stakeholders Chairman, Moses M’Choro.
Ntuchiu noted that Governor Kiraitu’s administration will dispatch officers from Meru Microfinance to Muriri, Mikinduri, Maua, and Laare towns with an aim of sensitizing members on financial literacy and discipline as well as capacity building.
This, he added, will enable the farmers to access other financial facilities being offered by the County such as SME loans through the recently launched Meru County Post-Covid-19 Recovery Strategy for SMEs.
Ntuchiu added that the county government is in talks with the National Government to seek new markets in countries such as Djibouti and Mozambique among others.
“The Governor is also organizing the Meru County Miraa Conference where authorities such as KEBS, NACADA and others will be actively engaged by Miraa Stakeholders and the Government of Meru County to lift any restrictions and regulations which could be hindering research and development of Miraa products for export such as Miraa gum, Miraa wine and Miraa sweets, among others,” said Ntuchiu.
The Meru Miraa Conference, the deputy governor added, has been postponed due to the ongoing upsurge of the third wave of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.