FREE SEEDS, INPUT

Sh103m project changes farmers' lives after Covid, locust invasion

Osebe says 15 counties are benefiting from the project

In Summary

• Tharaka Nithi agriculture executive Joel Njagi said farmers were also provided with fertiliser and chemicals for pest control.

• Farmers told the Star they are now harvesting 20 bags of maize on one acre. Before the project they used to harvest five bags.

Farmers in Tharaka Nithi who have been hit by Covid-19, locusts and low yield because of planting the same crop in one farm, are among thousands benefiting from a Sh103 million project.

Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki’s administration has partnered with Bayer and Cereals Growers Association in supplying the farmers with certified seeds to ensure food security and better income. The farmers will also receive fertiliser and pesticides.

Better Farms Better Lives project manager Sammy Osebe said 15 counties in Kenya are beneficiaries of the Sh103 million project. 

“We are taking stock of the Covid-19 mitigation impact. We distributed DK8031 maize seeds that yield two to three cobs. The 15,000 farmers we enrolled have positive feedback. Some were victims of the first and second locust invasion. The project is a continuous process,” Osebe said.

Tharaka Nithi agriculture executive Joel Njagi said farmers were also provided with fertiliser and chemicals for pest control.

Speaking during a training and impact assessment in Kibuagua, Igambang’ombe subcounty, the farmers told the Star they are now harvesting 20 bags of maize on one acre. Before the project they used to harvest five bags of maize on one acre.

Elosy Karimi and Ntwiga Kanja of Kamurundu farmer Field School from Mukuuni said they are happy with the harvests.

Mukuune assistant chief Kenneth Murithi said the project had transformed the area, adding that the rate of crime and illicit brew consumption had greatly reduced.  

Governor Njuki said most counties lack the capacity to cater for farmer’s needs.

“I will give Bayer and CGA an office at Itugururu Training Institute so that farmers can easily access their services and best agriculture practices,” Njuki said.