Kitui County farmers set to reap Sh.4 billion

Kitui County Ndengu farmers are set to reap Sh.4 billion in four months time, area governor, Charity Ngilu has said.

In the meantime, the County has embarked on an agricultural revolution through the procurement of 88.5 metric tons of certified ndengu seeds in the first phase.

Each farmer will receive free seeds for planting ahead of the planting season. Some parts of the county have started receiving the short October-December rains, said Ngilu.

In Mwingi sub county, Joseph Munyao, Kivou Ward Agricultural Extension Officer told KNA on Saturday that ndengus do well in the region, adding that within four months, farmers ‘would be smiling all the way to the bank’.

The devolved unit has partnered with the Kenya Red Cross Society to distribute the seeds across the vast county.

The Kenya Red Cross Society delegation led by their Secretary, Abbas Gullet has mobilized resources for this initiative.

We identified Kitui County as a vulnerable region following the failed rains and the prolonged dry spell. Majority of the people are vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, said Gulled.

He said the ambitious programme, dubbed ‘Ndengu Revolution’, implemented jointly with Kenya Red Cross, sought to eradicate perennial hunger in Kitui County, improve livelihoods of residents, and reduce poverty through rural development.

Ngilu said the programme was in line with her administration’s objectives of tackling Kitui County’s perennial food problems, deep rooted poverty through economic empowerment of residents by utilization of locally available resources.

This project has come at an opportune moment to support residents to meet their immediate needs, using early recovery initiatives that strengthen livelihoods through support to subsistence farmers, as well as access to water, said Gulled.

Munyao, on his part, called on farmers to embrace ndengu farming as a precursor to unlocking the door out of hunger and poverty that has bedeviled the region for decades.

A small scale farmer from Kivou Mama Abigail Kasalu confirmed that she has been impressed by the clarion call spearheaded by the county government, while promising to change her mode of farming.

I used to grow maize each season. Crop failure due to low or inadequate rainfall was the norm. I will move on now from maize to ndengu farming, Mama Kasalu.

The agricultural extension officer said that the ndengu proceeds could be used to buy maize and other cereals which do not do well in this region.

Source: Kenya News Agency