The World Bank (WB) through the National Agricultural Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP) programme has set aside over Sh.15 million towards value addition to Migori County farmers’ produce.
The programme aims at improving market value to the farmers’ produce and competition with other farm products from different places in Kenya and beyond, says the Project Coordinator, Ms. Antonina Atieno.
Meanwhile, beneficiary farmers are elated following the announcement by Ms. Atieno that plans were at advanced stage to roll out the program in 20 selected wards in the region.
In a press release to KNA on Wednesday, the coordinator explained that the multi-pronged effort would promote and add value to sweet potatoes, dairy milk, indigenous chicken and apiculture in order to increase the marketing aspects of the products within and outside the country.
The project will bring on board at least 20 Common Interest Groups (CIG) from 20 wards within the region that would be fully engaged in the economically viable investment.
“We target at least 20 Common Interest Groups from 20 selected wards within the rural set ups and excludes wards that are in or near urban areas and markets,” she said.
The CIGs will have a membership of at least 25-30 so as to qualify for the funds to invest in massive product value addition.
Each of the CIG will receive a maximum of Sh.500, 000 as per their proposals and the project they intend to undertake.
The project is fully funded by the WB whose aim is to see that the living standards of those in rural and sub urban areas of Migori County are uplifted.
The project will also benefit the vulnerable and marginalised groups which will have a membership of 12 as required by National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), explained the project coordinator.
However, each member of a vulnerable and marginalized group will receive a maximum funding of Sh.100, 000 towards assisting them to add value to their produce, a move that will help in improving their income and enable them to compete favourably with farmers from other regions.
Ms. Atieno stressed that NARIGP is keen to see the growth and development of farmers especially in the rural areas of Migori County in order to help their produce get market and compete in the production and sales chain that sometimes hinders them from accessing the market.
The region has a big potential to produce tons of potatoes especially from Kuria and bees in areas within Thim- Lich Ohinga.
Potatoes farmers in Kuria have always complained of lack of market for their produce, much of which ended up rotting and exploitation from middlemen from Nairobi who pay them peanuts for their produce.
By Richard Otieno/George Agimba