12 counties set to gain from Sh500m agriculture project

Nakuru Deputy Governor Eric Korir (second left), Agriculture executive Immaculate Maina (centre) and Nakuru ASK chairperson Margaret Anami (right) tour a wheat farm at the National ASK Show last year.
 

Photo credit: File| Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The four-year Market Access Upgrade (Markup) project seeks to boost food security and address supply and market access constraints in several agricultural value chains.
  • The other beneficiary counties are Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Siaya, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Taita Taveta, Kwale, Makueni, Machakos and Kajiado.
  • Project crops include green beans, snow peas, chillies, mango, passion fruits, macadamia, groundnuts, herbs and spices.

Nakuru is among 12 counties that will benefit from a Sh425.5 million agriculture project funded by the European Union.

The four-year Market Access Upgrade (Markup) project seeks to boost food security and address supply and market access constraints in several agricultural value chains.

Markup also aims at helping small-scale farmers to increase their incomes and boost youth participation in agriculture.

Executed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido), Markup targets 1,500 small-scale farmers, and many more indirectly.

Extension officers

The other beneficiary counties are Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Siaya, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Taita Taveta, Kwale, Makueni, Machakos and Kajiado.

Project crops include green beans, snow peas, chillies, mango, passion fruits, macadamia, groundnuts, herbs and spices.

Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Executive Immaculate Maina said the project will link farmers with markets, improve food security, train selected farmers on good agricultural practices and train up to 500 extension officers across the country.

“In Nakuru County, the focus is on snow peas under the vegetables sub-sector, and export oriented herbs, including basil, coriander, dill, sage, and mint, among others under the herbs and spices sub-sector," Dr Maina told the Nation.

Youth will be trained

Services provided by national institutions such as the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service, the Horticultural Crops Directorate and the Kenya Bureau of Standards will be strengthened.

EU head of agriculture Myra Bernardi said the project will benefit stakeholders across the targeted value chains including farmers, traders and government institutions.

To ensure young people are included, youth will be trained so that they understand the right standards for the targeted value chains. 

National Coordinator Andrew Edewa said technology will be employed to make the project attractive to the youth.

Dr Edewa said that, counties will collaborate in the training extension officers as the personnel who will be working closely with the farmers.

EMatara@ke.nationmedia.com