County government to spend Shs.386 million in agricultural sector

The Tana River County Government will spend more than Shs.386 million in the agriculture, livestock and fisheries sector in the 2017/2018 financial year.

According to the itemized budget estimates yet to be passed by the local County Assembly, agriculture would get Shs.300.3 million, veterinary services (Shs.35.1), livestock production (Shs.36.1) while the fisheries sub sector would get Shs.14.5 million.

The agriculture, livestock and fisheries development sectors are the mainstay of the county’s economy, and have in the past received minimal funding, leading to low productivity.

Despite River Tana covering more than 500 kilometres as it passes through the county, residents have perennially had to depend on relief supplies.

The county is also home to thousands of cattle, sheep, goats and camels, but poverty has continued to ravage residents due to lack of markets and frequent livestock disease outbreaks.

In the budget, the county government intends to mechanize agriculture by purchasing tractors, vehicles and other transport equipment at a cost of Shs.120 million, revive village minor irrigation schemes at a cost of Shs.170.3 million as well as purchase other agricultural machinery and equipment worth Shs.10 million.

The county administration also hopes to revive agricultural shows through the setting up show ground structures at cost of Shs.25 million. It would also spend Shs.20 million to improve water supplies and Shs.15 million for mango collection centres.

The budget estimates also indicate that the county refurbish veterinary drug stores (Shs.3.2 million), complete the Garsen slaughter house and horn factory (Shs.17.8 million), construct ten cattle crushes (Shs.8.5 million) as well as construct two cattle dips (Shs.6 million).

In the fisheries sub sector, the county government intends to construct and install ice plant and cold storage facilities at Kipini (Shs.5 million), establish fish ponds (Shs.4.2 million) and install fish feed pelting machine in Idsowe (Sh3 million) among others.

The Hussein Dado administration also intends improve the livestock production sector through the purchase of 30 bulls for breeding (Shs.5.7 million), carry out livestock off-take and re-stocking (Shs.10.2 million) and construct a milk processing plant to the tune of Shs.7 million among other activities.

The budget was expected to be passed by the County Assembly before it is indefinitely adjourned on July 18.

Currently, the Assembly is on a two-week Eid ul Fitr recess and was expected to resume on Tuesday July 4.

Source: Kenya News Agency