- Programme supports individual farmers who come together in small groups called common interest groups
- Farmers who registered in groups of between 25 to 30 got between Sh300,000 and Sh2 million
More than 600 farmers in Kilifi county have benefitted from grants worth Sh41 million to increase the production.
The money is from the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIG). The programme prioritizes coconuts, dairy, local chicken production and beekeeping.
Farmers who registered in groups of between 25 to 30 members got between Sh300,000 and Sh2 million.
Anthony Chibudu, county project coordinator NARIG, said the main objective of the project is to increase the productivity of selected value chains.
Speaking at Mavueni during the handing over ceremony, Chibudu said each of the value chains is expected to be joined by individual farmers who come together in small groups called common interest groups.
In Kilifi county, Chibudu said they are operating in 20 wards while in all the other counties in Kenya they are operating in 21 wards.
"Each ward has a management committee called community-driven development committees that administer the grants that we offer to the CIGs," he said.
The CIGS, he said, are supposed to grow into producer organizations and preferably register as cooperatives.
Chibudu said the basic unit they place a lot of emphasis on is the CIG, composed of individual farmers who work together to solve common production and marketing issues.
"When it comes to marketing issues or technology advancement they must come together as producer organization. They don't need to be cooperatives. They can be business entities like companies," he said.
However, the government prefers cooperatives because through that system each member benefits as they are owners of whatever investment is done.
Chibudu said when farmers come together they are able to strategize and be given critical advice from service providers placed along the value chain.
'"We have experts in the value chain: experts in technology, marketing, in processing; a whole chain, so that is our long term plan. When the government disengages we expect these cooperatives to have created enough capacity to continue the development process," he said.