Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has released Ksh. 53.2 million to fund 146 farmers groups to undertake various value chains projects as she launched county’s five-year development plan.
The funds will be shared by farmers groups undertaking tomato, dairy, avocado, poultry, bee keeping, fish, pig and dairy goat farming among others.
Waiguru says the projects under the “Wezesha Kirinyaga Empowerment Programme” aims to empowering the beneficiaries to make at least Ksh. 1,000 per day from the various value chains.
Speaking at the County Headquarters in Kutus, where she released the funds to the farmers, Waiguru said that through Wezesha, her administration has cumulatively disbursed Ksh. 344.3 million with Ksh. 225.3 million supporting 619 groups in tomato, dairy, avocado, poultry, bee keeping, fish, pig and dairy goat farming. Ksh. 119 million went to support producer organizations in dairy, avocado, tomato and poultry.
“The money that we are releasing today will go a long way in helping the farmers put money into their pockets. We are implementing the bottom-up economic model by empowering farmers to engaging in small scale agri-business and in return earn money to feed their families,” she said.
The Wezesha Kirinyaga Empowerment Programme which is supported through the National Agricultural Rural Inclusive Growth (NARIG) is in its third phase of funding.
“This money has uplifted the living standards of the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries are now empowered to make at least Ksh. 1,000 per day from various value chains,” she added.
At the same time, the governor has launched County’s third Integrated Development Plan (CIDP 2023-2027) that offers a cohesive framework of
development for the county.
The governor said the plan seeks to improves the quality of life for everyone that lives and works in Kirinyaga.
While unveiling the plan, the Council of Governors chair said her administration will work together with the national government, development partners, Public Private Partners to mobilize resources for the implementation of key projects.
“Despite the scarcity of resources, we shall endeavour to equitably allocate the available resources to ensure equitable development across the county. We shall also enhance effective and efficient monitoring and evaluation systems that will see to it that the projects are implemented within the given timelines,” Waiguru added.
“The CIDP takes into account the inclusion of special groups such as the youth and women as key factors of production in our county’s economic growth. As such the projects identified herein will ensure that they will translate to their economic empowerment,” said the governor.
She said the plan’s main strategic goals includes; job creation through the establishment of new industries and product diversification and better health through accessible and affordable health care.
The plan also seeks to increase income from improved and efficient agricultural productivity, market access, product marketing, and competitive market prices.
“In our five-year plan, we also seek to have improved urban planning and infrastructure to create state-of-the-art towns and cities and at the same time have enhanced knowledge and skills development to establish demand driven, adaptive, diligent, talented and unique workforce,” the COG chair said.
She further said that her government will enhance effective and efficient monitoring and evaluation systems that will see that the projects are implemented within the given timelines.
Waiguru said her government will prioritize actualization of the establishment of the Sagana Climate Smart Agro-Industrial City which will host an array of development, including an Export Processing Zone (EPZ), the County Aggregation
Industrial Parks (CAIPS), affordable housing units and a sports complex.
In health, the governor said she will equipping and operationalisation of Kerugoya County Level 5 Referral Hospital, completion, equipping, and operationalisation of Kimbimbi and Kianyaga Level Four Hospitals will take center stage.
“This will be supported by the completion and operationalisation of more than 20 dispensaries across the county, to support primary healthcare. The facilities will be managed through Hospital Information Management System for accurate management of hospital commodities and supplies,” the governor added.
In agriculture, Waiguru said she plans to expand the Wezesha Kirinyaga program to incorporate an additional 100,000 households into the program.
Reporting by Christine Muchira