About 86 agricultural based groups in Baringo County have benefitted from Sh. 64 million World Bank grant to help them finance economic activities geared towards improving their socio-economic wellbeing.
Speaking during disbursement of the cheques to the organised groups at Farmers Training Centre (FTC) on Tuesday in Eldama Ravine, the County Executive Committee (CEC) for Industry, Commerce, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Dr. David Sergon urged the beneficiaries to grow the money by ensuring that it is used prudently for the planned activities.
Dr. Sergon urged the benefitting groups drawn from Emining, Mogotio, Tenges, Kapropita, Lembus Perkerra and Koibatek wards in Mogotio, Baringo Central and Koibatek sub counties to utilise the non-refundable funds to improve their economic status at household levels.
“I urge you people to grow the money. If you are given Sh.30, 000, ensure to grow to become Sh.60,000 or more as the money will help you pay school fees and also meet other financial obligations at home,” he insisted.
The counter-funding is donated by the county government in part while the remaining is donated by World Bank in partnership basis.
Dr. Sergon called on enlisted service providers to ensure the farmers embrace simple farming technologies on approved best practices to ensure sustainability of the projects.
Each group, he disclosed, will get between Sh.800,000 and Sh.1 million to help in growing of fast maturing crops like green grammes, sorghums, tomatoes, paw paws and rearing of indigenous poultry.
The CEC member also challenged the groups to always attend public participation forums where they demand money to be allocated to their priority projects.
On milk, Dr. Sergon urged local dairy farmers not to sell their animals because of the current unfavourable milk prices in the market.
He regretted that the current low milk price of Sh.17 per litre was quite discouraging despite processed half a litre of milk retailing at Sh. 50 in shops and supermarkets.
“To tackle this problem, as a county we are focusing on value addition in milk. So please don’t sell your livestock but instead feed them well and increase production since things will change for the better soon,” executive committee member implored.
He expressed satisfaction that majority of the beneficiaries are women, youth and the disabled stating women were the best managers in any enterprise.
However, he urged parents to enroll their children in Vocational Training Centres where they will acquire technical skills and knowledge that is much sought in the ever changing job market.
“Do not just look for white collar jobs in national and county governments but instead shift to blue collar jobs found in the informal sectors. I regret that majority of masons, electricians, plumbers and carpenters engaged in most projects in the county are imported from far flung regions like Nyanza and Western,” the CEC argued.
The CEC for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Thomas ole Nongonop who presided over the function urged the groups to utilise the funds wisely and avoid diverting to unplanned activities.
He said that the county government will keenly monitor usage of the funds and enterprises to avoid wastage.
By Joshua Kibet