The Government has released a consignment of seeds, seedlings and other related inputs worth Sh12.75 million to be distributed to small scale farmers under Scale Irrigation and Value Addition Programme (SIVAP).
This was a follow up to seeds and seedlings worth Sh7.8 million that were purchased and distributed to SIVAP counties during the March -May 2020 rains.
SIVAP has been funded by a loan from Africa Development Bank (AfDB), a grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) and the Government of Kenya.
The aim is to be able to carry out clean seeds production demonstrations for High Value pulses, cereals, and fruits trees and also carry out clean seeds production demonstrations for fodder/ Pasture.
Through the project, there will also be provision of clean planting materials for establishment of fruit tree orchard demonstrations in the established irrigation schemes as well as strengthening of nutrition units for communities at county levels through the home kitchen gardens. The beneficiaries would also be trained on good nutrition practices.
Speaking during the flagging off ceremony of 51,940 various fruits seedlings that will go to 11 counties at Kilimo House, Nairobi, Agriculture Principal Secretary (PS), Prof. Hamadi Boga, said so far the project had reached 106,900 households.
“ In order to address the need for food and nutrition security as well as income generation, the Ministry through the Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) has planned to set up demonstration plots for crops, livestock fodder production and kitchen gardens as a Covid- 19 response initiatve,” Boga said.
The benefiting counties are Makueni, Kajiado, Machakos, Bomet, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Nyeri, Tana River, Murang’a, Nyandarua and Kitui.
“The counties have managed to set up 220 demonstration plots for both crops and livestock fodder and through the projects’ support the Ministry also launched ‘The One Million Kitchen Garden Initiative’ in Makueni County on 26th June 2020,” the PS added.
September last year, the Ministry through the project further established a demonstration and learning site with 15 kitchen garden technologies at Ministry Headquarters.
“The Ministry has set aside Sh500 million to support the one million kitchen garden initiative through provision of kitchen garden kits namely solar dryers, shade nets and assorted vegetable seeds to 213,090 Households in 21 counties”, Boga said.
The current on-going SIVAP projects, the PS said include 12 irrigation schemes, 38 water pans, 17 bore holes, eight shallow wells and sand dams, five grading shades, four livestock sale yards and rehabilitation of 65 kilometres of rural roads which are at various stages of completion.
By Wangari Ndirangu