Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru has launched “Fertilizer Mashinani initiative” for the county and opened satellite depots from where farmers can conveniently pick their supplies.
While launching the initiative at Togonye divisional headquarters, Waiguru said that that the county government has established eight depots from where farmers can access subsidized fertilizers.
She said that the satellite depots which are spread across all the sub-counties will be managed by respective Sub-county Agricultural Officers. She added that agricultural officers manning the depots have been trained by the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) on how to handle the fertilizer issuance.
The depots are located in Kamweti Agricultural Training College (ATC), Kianyaga DCC office, Kerugoya CC Office, Kiaga Animal Feeds Factory, Baricho DCC office, Kandongu DCC office, Ciagini ACC office and Togonye ACC office.
Besides the eight satellite depots, Waiguru indicated that coffee farmers will access the subsidized fertilizers from 28 coffee factories selected from across the 14 coffee cooperative societies, while tea farmers will also access their fertilizer from all their five tea factories facilities.
She said that beneficiaries who had been registered in the first phase of farmers registration will collect their allocation as required from their nearest deport. More farmers will subsequently be incorporated in the subsidized fertilizer register after collation of the data collected in the recently conducted farmers registration exercise.
The Governor thanked President William Ruto for allowing the county government to set up own depots for distribution of the subsidized fertilizer and other inputs. She urged all farmers to ensure they are registered accordingly in order to benefit from the various agriculture revitalization programs by the government.
She added that the satellite depots will also be used as storage for distribution of other farm inputs for the farmers who receive support time to time through Wezesha Kirinyaga Program.
At the same time, Waiguru issued assorted farm inputs to farmers with the aim of enabling them increase agricultural production and household incomes.
About 3000 kilogram of sorghum seeds were given to 800 farmers as way of enabling them diversify on their agricultural activities.
The governor said that the sorghum project was aimed at promoting the production of high value traditional drought resistance crops and cereals, sorghum being one of them.
“Sorghum is a fast-maturing crop that takes only three months to mature and it is not only used as human food but can also be used as raw material for production of livestock feeds among other products”. She observed.
East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) -Eastern Regional Agricultural Manager Jacob Githigi lauded Kirinyaga County Government to empower farmers to produce sorghum.
Githigi said the county has a potential to become leading sorghum producer in the region and the company was looking forward to enroll more farmers in its contract farming programme.
“As a company we have donated two tons of sorghum to the county government for distribution to farmers,” he said.
Other farmers were given on-farm animal feeds production equipment, bee hives, eggs incubators and avocado seedlings.
Several self-help groups were given tents and chairs as part of the county’s socio-economic empowerment program.