About 10,000 farmers from Samburu county who received title deeds recently will now be able to access affordable loans from the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) to boost farming activities in the area.
The lucky farmers received individual title deeds from President Uhuru Kenyatta on 3rd November at KICC after six group ranches in Samburu west were subdivided.
Speaking during the official reopening of the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) offices in Maralal town after closing down for 20 years, former agriculture PS Richard Lesiyampe advised the famers not to subdivide and sell their land, but instead use the title deeds as security and apply for loans from the organization to embark on farming and improve on their livelihoods.
Lesiyampe encouraged the famers to invest in agribusiness saying that Samburu west sub county has great agricultural potential since it had huge chunks of arable land.
“If you use your title deeds to apply for AFC loans and start farming, our total acreage of arable land was adequate to make this region Samburu’s bread basket,” he challenged the farmers.
The former PS termed the issuance of the title deeds as a major milestone for the region, adding that since independence only seven people in the entire county were in possession of the vital documents.
AFC Mt. Kenya regional manager Felix Kisiengo said that AFC Maralal office was closed down in 1996 after experiencing financial difficulties.
He noted that AFC targets all agricultural sectors in Samburu including cattle, bee keeping, wheat and maize farmers, agribusiness and agrovets.
He said that they will hold major sensitization campaigns to farmers to promote the advantages of the 10 percent loans, adding that since 2017 loan uptake has been very low with only 40 clients having taken Sh64.2 million.
“Our major role is to improve agriculture in Samburu through financing farmers. We are therefore working closely with the county government in sensitizing farmers on the advantages of our affordable financing,” he said.
Kisiengo encouraged residents without title deeds to form cooperative societies in order to access loans for investment.
By Robert Githua