Members of three Community Based Organizations in Kirinyaga County have started reaping benefits from their projects spearheaded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) at a tune of 50,000 US Dollars.
Rome based Organization led by its Director of Independent Office Evaluation Mr. Oscar Garcia made an extensive tour of the three projects in the county whose positive results received praise from the officials.
Under the Upper Tana Natural Resources Management project, IFAD has supported projects in the county at a total cost of Sh5 million in form of grants to communities.
Mr. Garcia said the money went to supporting six small scale irrigation projects, domestic water projects and community based income generating enterprises in agriculture.
One such project is the Kangaita Community Forest Association in the county which has been funded by the Agency to erect a solar electric fence to keep off elephants and other wild animals away from shambas.
Apart from the 21 kilometer fence protecting the wild animals from creating a human conflict, the association members have benefited from a bee keeping project after the Kenya Wildlife Services provided them with modern bee hives.
Association Chairperson Jane Wanjiku said the membership has benefited from the project after producing high quality honey from the Kangaita section of Mt Kenya forest.
“We are able to sell a half kilogram of honey at Sh350 while the product is in high demand due to its purity while we also process valuable by -products after refining the commodity,” she said.
At Kamuruana village, is yet another project; Muruka Small Scale Irrigation Scheme which specializes in producing horticultural products.
The members are able to harvest three yields in a year of cabbages on a quarter acre plot, realizing Sh40, 000 per crop.
The Organization has also funded a banana tissue culture farming at Njegas village where the farmers appealed for more cash to enable them apportion irrigation water for their crop.
The farmers, through their chairman Simon Watene, told the donors that due to climate change being witnessed, their crop could no longer depend on rain fed agriculture but required irrigation.
Having been on the ground, Garcia said upon face value evaluation, the program had impacted positively to the targeted community of 4.3 million rural Kenyans.
By Irungu Mwangi