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County implements measures to stimulate agricultural growth

Marsabit County government, in collaboration with development partners, has instituted measures aimed at diversifying agriculture and marketing systems for accelerated growth.

Governor Mohamud Ali said that there was room to tap great potential in irrigated agriculture, commercialization of livestock and fisheries, as well as agro-processing.

Speaking at Kukubtiro in Sagante ward when he launched a countywide vaccination campaign to address livestock pests and diseases, Governor Ali pointed out that broadening the sector would not only enhance resilience but would also ensure security in terms of food, nutrition and wealth creation.

The governor, who had earlier launched a borehole at Dokatu area developed under the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Programme (KCSAP) at a cost of Sh9.9 million, said the government was also extending grants to communities to start micro-projects and develop value-added chains.

The vaccination drive, estimated to cost Sh12 million, is being implemented jointly with development partners like VSF-Germany and Concern Worldwide, with the county government contributing 58 percent of the resources.

Livestock production is the leading economic undertaking in the county at 81 percent, which the governor said required sound management in order to safeguard the livelihood of the local pastoralist communities and make the sub-sector commercially viable.

The borehole at Dokatu, which discharges 8 cubic metres of water per hour, is fully developed and fitted with an elevated steel tank holding 43,000 litres of water.

Marsabit Governor Mohamud Ali (far left) is all smiles after his dream to provide the residents of Dokatu area with portable water came true after a borehole sunk with the help of the World Bank under the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP) yielded water. The project, which cost Sh9.9 million, has a water output of 8 cubic metres per hour and would serve about 2000 households.

Governor Ali said his administration has plans to harness the resource and enable residents to run a 100-acre drip irrigation scheme to make them both food and nutrition secure.

Other interventions made by the county government in order to resuscitate the important sector, which has suffered battering by severe drought for five consecutive seasons, included the provision of an assortment of drought-tolerant seeds to 1,800 farmers worth Sh8 million.

“My government has also supported this department to repair and service twelve tractors in readiness for expanding the current area under crop and pasture production,” said Governor Ali.

The governor, who was accompanied by his deputy Solomon Gubo and the County Executive Member for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Hussein Ali, disclosed that the government was currently supporting 375 acres under irrigation for production of crops and fodder for livestock.

The devolved unit is also keen on building the capacity of farmers by equipping them with knowledge on better crop and animal husbandry, with the Department of Agriculture having so far managed to reach over 18,780 farmers, fisherfolk, schoolchildren, traders and pastoralists.

The governor further extended his gratitude to the national government and other partners for supporting the county in protecting the lives and livelihoods of the local communities for the past three years as they were being ravaged by drought, desert locust invasion, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that his administration was committed to transformative and sustainable development through all sectors to achieve quality of life for Marsabit County residents.

Governor Ali, while calling on local communities to continue living in harmony, said his government would continue to work closely with the national government and development partners in order to ensure that programmes and projects are put in place to address the plight of the residents in the face of climate-related shocks.

“I am giving my assurance that my government will continue to work hand in hand with other players so as to realise the aspirations of Marsabit residents and Kenyans at large by implementing the Bottoms-up Economic Transformation Agenda,” he said.

By Sebastian Miriti

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