Peter Koima May 18, 2020
SUPPORTING FARMERS AMID CHALLENGING TIME
Following the recent heavy rainfall that resulted to floods, mudslides and landslides which wreaked havoc and destruction in most parts of the country including parts of our county, the County Government of Nandi has responded by providing disaster relief support to affected farmers and families.
The heavy rains led to the displacement of families and damage to crops and infrastructure with the most affected areas being Chepkaroi and Mbogo Valley in Tinderet Ward; Chelogong, Tuiyobei and Kapkitany in Songhor-Soba Ward.
To address this, the County Government through the department of Agriculture and Cooperative Development has rolled out an ambitious plan to reclaim all escarpments and areas prone to land and mudslides by introducing and promoting planting of fruit trees and cash crops such as Coffee, Avocado and Macadamia to not only increase Food Security but to increase land cover and reduce soil erosion and landslides.
Speaking on Monday 18th May in Tinderet Sub County, Nandi Governor Stephen Sang noted that the relief support and certified coffee, macadamia and avocado seedlings (important sources of rural income) to the vulnerable families will improve both households income and nutrition as well as reducing water runoff and soil erosion.
He urged farmers to focus on increasing food production this planting season in order to enhance food security even as his administration continue preparing to combat Covid 19 pandemic.
“The aftermath of Corona virus will likely be shortage of food since most efforts are currently directed to the health sector. We are working with farmers and cooperative societies across the county in a bid to increase production and enhance diversification.” added Sang.
CECM for Agriculture and Cooperative Development Dr. Kiplimo Araap Lagat revealed that the maize seeds issued to affected families are fast maturing variety that can sustain itself under extreme harsh climate conditions. Dr Lagat said that the move is aimed at bridging the gap of food security during this difficult time as well as increasing the land cover along our escarpments and lands prone to landslides and mudslides.
He added that his department is working with Farmers’ Cooperative Societies FCS to help revive a high quality coffee industry and support coffee farming as a sustainable source of income while at the same time preventing soil erosion and drainage. He. Urged farmers to join FCS and gain access to more government assistance and become more competitive.
On their part, Tinderet Ward Member of County assembly Hon. Kipkurui Chepkwony and his counterpart from Songhor-Soba ward Hon. Justine Chepnyango called on the National Government to relocate the affected families to safer grounds and urged the residents to continue adhering to the guidelines and protocols issued by the Government
Alarmed by a potential rise in food insecurity during and post COVID-19 pandemic, the department of Agriculture on April first 2020 timely availed tractors and specialized farm implements to farmers and cooperative societies in a bid to enhance diversification, increase production and embrace small holder agricultural commercialization in our County.
To further ensure that vulnerable farmers are empowered financially to increase their farm productivity and profitability during this difficult time, the department disbursed cheques worth Sh26,494,200 to fund over 3000 farmers in 61 Common Interest Groups (CIGs), Vulnerable and Marginalized Groups (VMGs) and Nandi Potato Cooperative drawn from 12 participating wards across the county whose proposals were approved for funding under the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP).
Governors Sang’s Government assures her residents that his administration will continue mounting special efforts to keep agriculture safely running as an essential sector to ensure continuous supply of affordable and nutritious food so that consumers can still access and purchase food despite income losses.
#StayHome #GoToTheFarm, #KeepSafe.