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Farmers get compensation for locust invasion losses

It was a reprieve for hundreds of farmers in Embu who lost their crops and pasture following desert locust invasion three years ago after they received Sh. 17. 9 million from the World Bank as compensation.

The funds channeled through Government Emergency Locust Response Program (ELRP) are set to benefit farmers in six Wards that were affected by the invasion of various swarms leading to loss of livelihood running into millions of shillings.

The affected wards including Evorore, Muminji, Kiamebere, Makima, Nginda and Kagaari North received compensation for value chains including dairy, poultry, beekeeping and crops such as green grams.

Speaking while handing over cheques to beneficiaries and flagging off livestock feed supplements at Talent Academy in Embu Town on Friday, Governor Cecily Mbarire said the initiative was aimed at assisting farmers get back on their feet following the losses occasioned by the invasion.

She said among the beneficiaries were 51 Common Interest Groups (CIGs) that received Sh. 6.8 Million for restocking of bees, poultry and dairy goats.

The county boss added that four farmers’ cooperatives were also given grants geared towards mobilization of more members to join in the dairy and green gram value chains to the tune of Sh.1.9 million.

She said the sub-project on livestock feed supplementation covering Evurore, Muminji, Kiambere and Makima Wards had been allocated Sh. 10 million to sustain weak animals until regeneration of pasture following the prolonged drought.

While at it, Governor Mbarire said they plan to work closely with Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) in a livestock offtake programme to cushion famers from losses during drought seasons.

She called on the beneficiaries to use the funds for the intended purpose and not blow it up in unnecessary ventures.

By Samuel Waititu

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