The Department of Agriculture has disbursed over Sh. 51 million to 58 groups in West Pokot County under the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP).
The KCSPA is a five-year National government project jointly supported by the World Bank and is carried out in 24 counties in the country.
Speaking on Wednesday at Kishaunet Show Grounds during the start of disbursement of grants for micro-projects for KCSAP groups, the area Governor, Prof. John Lonyangapuo said the county will receive a total Sh. 500 million by the end of the five year programme.
Lonyangapuo said six wards in the county have benefited in the first phase disbursement, adding that by February next year, the same number of the groups from different wards will benefit from the programme.
“Today we disbursed a total of Sh. 51,920,840 to 58 groups from six wards. The wards are Siyoi, Endough, Sook, Sekerr, Lomut and Alale and we expect that on February next year, 58 or more groups from other wards will benefit and by the end of five years programme all wards should have benefited,” he said.
He said the county received Sh. 50.9 million from the World Bank and Sh. 5 million from his government during the current financial year.
The funds will be used by the groups to undertake various agricultural activities in goats, sheep, indigenous chicken and dairy cattle rearing.
The governor said the development objective of the project is to increase agricultural productivity, build resilience to climate change risks in the targeted smallholder farming and at the same time reduce greenhouse gas emission.
He further appealed to the beneficiary groups to use the money for the intended purpose as indicated in their budget proposals without diverting, saying this will enable them to maximise and improve their standard of living.
The governor pointed out that agriculture and livestock sector form a major segment of the county economy, saying on average 65% of the farm produce is sold and 83% of households derive at least part of their income from on farm activities.
Philip Ting’aa, the County Project Coordinator for KCSAP said the project focuses on improving water and soil management, promoting sustainability, community-driven rangeland management and improve access to quality livestock services in arid and semi-arid areas.
“One of the most apparent effects of climate change observed by the farmers is the occurrence of floods that wash and contribute to soil erosion and the project is trying to address the issue,” said Ting’aa.
He said the project recognises that climate smart agriculture services delivery requires a unified approach, saying it will use a consortium of service providers with different skills mix along the agricultural product value chain to respond to beneficiaries felt needs.
Ting’aa said the county targets to provide support to 170 groups during this financial year, saying his office received 445 proposals and being evaluated for funding.
“We received a total of 445 proposals and currently evaluating for funding. We target to fund 170 groups by the end of the financial year,” said the coordinator.
By John Saina