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Narok to register 200,000 farmers

Narok County targets to register about 200, 000 farmers in the ongoing National Agriculture Value Change Development Project.

The county’s governor, Patrick Ntutu, said this during an oath-taking and contract-signing ceremony for 453 enumerators and 48 supervisors who had been recruited and trained on the registration process.

Ntutu observed that over 70 per cent of Narok people are actively involved in farming, saying the exercise will help in identifying and planning for the farmers in the county.

The first-time governor expressed concerns over the many jobless youths in the county, saying his administration is targeting to extend the work period of the youths recruited so that they can continue earning an income.

“At the end of this exercise, we will engage you in other activities to earn income. We will enrol you in the National Health and Insurance Fund  (NHIF) as we want to ensure that every household is covered by health insurance,” said the governor.

At the same time, Governor Ntutu warned the enumerators against disclosing the data they gathered, asking them to exercise professionalism in their course of duty.

 “There are so many people who want such information; please ensure that you do not share this information because it is criminal,” he reiterated.

Governor Ntutu said by collecting farmers’ data, the government will find it easier to address challenges such as disease control and provide crucial input like fertiliser and seed.

Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde, who witnessed the occasion, said all farmers, despite having registered earlier, should register in the new programme.

He noted that the county is rich in agricultural produce like wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, maize, and barley, calling on farmers to take advantage of the registration process to register.

“The enumerators must move from house to house looking for farmers because we want to register over 200, 000 farmers. The registration will be free of charge, and any enumerator who asks for any favours in order to register any farmer will be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.

The commissioner reminded farmers that the county has enough bags of fertiliser at the National Cereal and Produce Board (NCPB), calling on them to take advantage of the reduced prices to buy the fertiliser.

“Going forward, only registered farmers will benefit from the government programme. Currently, a bag of fertiliser costs Sh. 2500,” he said.

The county attorney, Allan Meng’ati, said enumerators who will disclose the collected data to the public, give false information, or use the collected data for another purpose will risk a 12-month jail term or a Sh. 500, 000 fine.

Narok County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in Charge of Agriculture, Ms. Joyce Keshe, said senior supervisors will earn Sh. 3500 per day, supervisors Sh. 3000, assistant supervisors Sh. 2500, and enumerators will take home Sh. 2000 per day.

The programme is sponsored by the World Bank in collaboration with the County Department of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries.

The Kenya Kwanza administration has committed to empowering agriculture and making the country a food-secure country.

By Ann Salaton

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