Thursday, May 30, 2024
Home > Agriculture > Dairy, mango farmers to access subsidies via e-card

Dairy, mango farmers to access subsidies via e-card

Registered mango and dairy farmers in Murang’a will now access subsidies provided by the county government through electronic cards.

Governor Irungu Kang’ata launched the issuance of the cards to farmers who are registered with various cooperative societies on Saturday.

In the programme dubbed Inua Mkulima, Kang’ata noted that the money meant for subsidy will be loaded into the card, and farmers will use the money to purchase animal feeds, agrochemicals, and food stuffs, among other items, from selected agrovets and general outlets.

A dairy farmer from Kahuro in Murang’a County uses inua mkulima e-card to purchase food stuffs from a local outlet. Photo by Bernard Munyao

The county administration had registered more than 21, 000 farmers, and for the last one year, the subsidy was being paid in cash.

Addressing farmers at Kahuro grounds, Governor Kang’ata hailed the e-cards, saying the farmers will be able to buy essential items from selected outlets.

Already, 85 outlets across the county have been prequalified and engaged by the county administration in the programme, where farmers will redeem their money from the stores.

He said by October this year, they will make some advancements on the programme whereby, with the use of the same card, a farmer will be able to pay hospital bills and also offset school fees.

“We launched a subsidy programme for dairy and mango farmers early last year, and we have opted to channel the money via electronic cards. This is a better strategy since it will seal loopholes that were experienced when the money was being disbursed in cash,” added Kang’ata.

The county government established a subsidy programme early in 2023 to help mango and dairy farmers increase production as well as cushion them from price fluctuations.

Mango farmers are given Sh3.50 per kilo of delivered produce, while those in dairy farming are getting Sh7 per delivered litre of milk.

“The county administration will stop issuing cash support and instead introduce an e-card linked to a mobile phone-based system. Milk and Mango farmers will redeem the money in agrovets across the county for various items, including dairy meal, Artificial Insemination services, maize and sorghum seeds, and foodstuffs,” added the governor.

The move to change the mode of giving subsidies through e-cards, Kang’ata stated, was informed by advice from various stakeholders to make the programme more impactful.

Governor Kang’ata explained that with the new mode of payment of subsidies, all farmers will get an equal amount, which will ensure support for the majority of farmers.

“With the new mode of giving the subsidy, the county government will increase the number of farmers benefiting from the programme,” he added.

From March 14 to March 24 this year, the county administration conducted a farmers’ register verification exercise and public participation meetings in every ward on the Inua Mkulima programme.

Kang’ata further noted that the benefiting farmers will spend the county’s resources strictly on inputs and not on other unrelated matters.

“The farmers who stop supplying milk or mango to their respective cooperatives will be easily detected and replaced. This method will also support other stakeholders like agrovets and veterinary officers,” he added, calling on farmers to register with cooperatives so as to benefit from the subsidy.

By Bernard Munyao

Leave a Reply