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Murang’a Mango and Dairy farmers set to benefit from guaranteed returns

Murang’a County Government has launched the Guaranteed Minimum Returns (GMR) programme which is aimed at supporting dairy and mango farmers.

In the supplementary budget for this financial year, the county administration allocated Sh200 million to actualise the GMR programme and boost the two sectors which were in the past performing poorly.

The GMR programme is being implemented after the county government put in place a requisite policy and legal framework to provide subsidies for both mango and dairy sectors.

Towards the end of last year, Murang’a County Assembly approved the County Agricultural subsidy Policy that laid the basis for a roadmap to attaining GMR for both dairy and mango sectors.

When launching the programme on Sunday at Gatunyu area, Governor Irungu Kang’ata said since January this year, the registered farmers have been receiving a subsidy which is paid together with producer prices paid by the processors.

In the dairy sector, 16, 504 farmers have already received Sh3.50 per litre of milk on top of the amount paid by the processor.

The governor noted that about 3, 000 farmers are yet to receive their payments due to hitches arising from their personal details they provided saying the challenge will be resolved and the money be wired to the farmers’ accounts.

Dr Kang’ata said they have settled on 13 dairy cooperative societies which have a membership of 19, 254 farmers.

He noted that dairy farming in Murang’a is one of the main economic activities and the subsidy will go a long way to boost farmers’ earnings and help them produce more milk.

The governor asked dairy farmers who are yet to join cooperative societies to do so saying the 13 societies tendered their bids and were successful and called upon the small groups to join the big cooperative societies to benefit from the GMR.

Dr Kang’ata said the dairy farmer who received the highest subsidy was paid Sh63, 000 after delivering more than 18, 000 litres of milk per month.

He noted that 828 mango farmers have already benefited from subsidies of a total of Sh7 since January this year.

The Mango sector, he said, was neglected and his administration has helped to form a cooperative society for the farmers who are mainly from lower parts of the county.

“The farmers were paid Sh3.50 per kilo of fresh mangoes for each of the harvest months of February and March. We sourced for them buyers who were purchasing a kilo of fresh mangoes at Sh16. Topping up this amount with the subsidy, a farmer earned Sh19.50 per kilo,” he added.

The county chief explained they helped first create awareness and sensitisation to the mango farmers and as county administration facilitated transportation of the fruits to the collection centres.

Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria who graced the occasion lauded the programme saying it will create employment for thousands of people at the grassroots.

He said his Ministry is working to support similar programmes and bring on board youths to venture in agribusiness.

By Bernard Munyao

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