Over 200 farmers in Narok South Sub County have benefited from the World Bank sponsored Pastoral Field School (PFS) initiated by the Resilience Program.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony held at Ntuka Primary School on Saturday, the World Bank team leader James Tendwa said the programme trains farmers on better farming methods to increase their productivity and profitability.
“You have been trained on new methods on livestock and crop farming and done several practical periods to test your ability. So we are confident that your livelihood is going to be better. The programme would be useless if it doesn’t boost your income,” he said.
Tendwa said the World Bank has given Sh. 1 billion Shillings towards the programme that is set to benefit all pastoral communities in the country.
“We are being funded by the World Bank but the programme is ours, so the money that we get through loans should be used wisely because we are the ones who will repay the loan,” he continued.
The team leader said they would give up to Sh. 1 Million to well organized groups that write a viable proposal that do not affect the environment.
“Now that you have been trained and qualified, initiate income generating programmes that will give you money. We also encourage you to train other farmers who did not get a chance to train in class like you,” he said.
He said the aim of the government is to help boost the livelihood of the people by empowering them to be more productive in a bid to eradicate poverty.
“This programme is among the Big Four Agenda of the government as it boosts food security, so we pray that you own this programme so that together we can help in implementing the government’s vision,” he said.
Narok South Deputy County Commissioner Charles Mukele lauded the project for including women and asked the community to stop retrogressive cultural practices that were impacting negatively on the girl child.
“I have personally visited homes were members have benefited from the programme and was amazed by how the homes are now milking their goats and sheep for their house consumption and commercial,” said Mukele.
Narok County Resilient Coordinator Christopher Kuder said they have encouraged farmers to form groups so to make it easy to access, train and market their products.
Michael Kishoyian a dairy goat farmer lauded the project saying since the training began two years ago, he has increased his production from a quarter liter per goat to two liters per day.
“The training was timely and I am encouraged because we have been trained on record keeping, feeds, and disease and pest control among others. I am sure it is going to boost our livelihood,” said Kishoyian who hails from Ololunga area in Narok South Sub County.
Narok County mainly practices pastoral agro-pastoral and mixed farming for food production to earn living.
Food security is among the four agendas President Uhuru Kenyatta is driving during his second term in office.
By Ann Salaton