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Boost For Embu Farmers After Receiving Inputs

Farmers in the semi-arid areas of Mbeere South and North Sub-counties in Embu have received a major boost after receiving various inputs including planting seeds and fertilizer.

The agricultural potential of the areas that constitute half of the landmass of the county has over the years remained unexploited owing to perennial water shortage.

Governor Cecily Mbarire speaking on Monday while issuing the farm inputs at various points in Makima, Mwea and Kiritiri, said her administration was keen on turning the areas into the county’s food basket.

She said the donation of seedlings including cowpeas and green grams that do well in the area is expected to enable farmers make good use of the short rains to produce enough food not only for domestic consumption but also for sale.

The Governor said the program funded by National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP) was part of emergency locust response program (ELRP) targeting farmers that were affected by the desert locust invasion in 2019.

Two weeks ago, the affected farmers received compensation amounting to Sh 21.3 million to enable them get back on their feet following the losses occasioned by the locust invasion.

To eradicate drought and famine in the area, the county boss announced that plans were underway to procure a drilling rig to sink boreholes for the provision of irrigation and domestic water.

She said with the county-owned machine, they are expected to make a huge saving in terms of cost of installation that could have been incurred if the services were outsourced.

She further said that plans were at an advanced stage of putting up infrastructure that will see locals supplied with water from the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) dams in the area.

The area is home to the majority of the Seven Forks Dams including Gitaru, Kindaruma, Kamburu and Kiembere.

“We are looking into ways of moving the water uphill and then distribute it to locals through gravity,” she said.

Additionally, the Governor said they will engage the National Government so that the large tracts of idle land owned by KenGen and Tana and Athi River Development Authority (TARDA) are leased to the county for food production.

By Samuel Waititu

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