• Farmers started receiving fertiliser in all 60 stores across the county on Monday.
• The fertiliser is going for Sh2,960 for a 50kg bag.
Farmers in Kakamega have started receiving subsidised fertiliser from the county government for the long rains planting season.
Farmers started receiving fertiliser in all 60 stores across the county on Monday.
The county has set aside Sh713 million this financial year to procure 120,000 (25kg) bags of planting and top dressing fertiliser and 130,000 (2kg) packets of certified maize seed under the farm inputs subsidy programme.
The fertiliser is going for Sh2,960 for a 50kg bag.
The national government subsidised fertiliser has not reached the Kakamega National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depot, although registered farmers have received subsidy vouchers.
Governor Fernandes Barasa said since 2015 farm inputs subsidy programme has helped improve maize productivity in the county from eight bags per acre to an average of 14 bags per acre.
“In my quest to ensure that every person has the right to food and that Kakamega county is food secure, my government, in my six-point agenda, has prioritised agriculture in my first five-year budget for the county,” Barasa said.
He said the county’s farm mechanisation programme has also helped improve food production. The programme in which county-owned tractors till land for farmers at reduced price started in 2016.
The governor was speaking to farmers at the Bukura Agricultural Training Centre on Wednesday.
He said interventions and investments in projects under the agriculture department continue to improve farming activities as well as households’ income.
The county chief said the agriculture department has been allocated more than Sh10 billion in the 2023-27 County Integrated Development Plan. The money will be spent on various projects aimed at improving the economic well-being and livelihoods of residents through farming and farming enterprises.
Barasa said the process to ensure completion of the Kakamega Dairy Processing Plant in Malava is underway. The plant is projected to start operations next year to create a market for increased milk production in the county.
“We have set aside Sh120 million for the establishment of eight smart dairy farms this financial year to increase milk production. Four smart dairy farms are operational in Lurambi, Matungu, Lugari and Khwisero,” he said.
The governor said the county supplied 40,000 day-old chicks to more than 300 farmers last year through a poultry subsidy programme to promote diversification in the agriculture sector.
“I wish to encourage all our farmers to diversify livestock enterprises into pigs, bees, sheep, goats that have guarantee of high returns and seek support which is provided by my government under the respective value chains,” Barasa said.
He said co-operatives are key in production and marketing, as farmers benefit from economies of scale.
“Strengthening and supporting cooperatives through issuance of co-operatives grants, will ensure that farmers grow economically and improve their livelihoods,” he said.