Embu County staff in the department of Agriculture, Livestock, Cooperatives and fisheries were today sensitized on the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project(NARIGP). Officially opening the workshop, the Chief Officer Livestock Mr. A. Gatumo urged staff members present to remain focused towards assisting the farmers through the project.

The project development objective is to increase agricultural productivity and profitability of targeted rural communities in selected counties, and in the event of an eligible crisis or emergency, to provide immediate and effective response. The key premise of NARIGP is the importance of linking rural smallholder farmers common interest groups(CIGs) and vulnerable and marginalized groups (VMGs) organized along selected priority value chains to markets. Through improved adoption of new technologies, innovations and management practices, and by federating into Producer Organizations and other forms of rural institutions, targeted rural smallholder farmers will be able to increase their productivity, income, and profitability.

The 22.6 billion National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP) funded by the World Bank project is being implemented in 21 counties in the county and in all the wards in Embu County in which four value chains namely;- Indigenous chicken, Dairy, Mangoes and green grams are being supported by the project.

The five year programme seeks to increase agricultural productivity and profitability of targeted rural communities in selected counties in Kenya. Further, the programme is expected to provide immediate and effective response in the event of an eligible crisis or emergency.

 

According to the Embu County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Livestock and Co-operatives Annie Nyaga, the programme will be implemented in all four sub counties and the 20 wards in the county. “The primary beneficiaries are rural smallholder farmers, vulnerable marginalized groups organized in common interest groups of which 70 per cent are expected to federate into project objectives along value chains in Embu County” Annie said in a statement.

 

Those listed as vulnerable marginalised community members include the youth, the elderly, people living with disabilities, widowers, persons recovering from substance abuse and people living with HIV/AIDS. “The criteria for the selection of the beneficiaries will be pegged on the wards’ potential to develop and improve the production of at least one of the value chains in dairy production, mango farming, indigenous poultry keeping and green grams”, she added.

 

The project will support the community through four investment windows which include sustainable land management and value chains, market oriented livelihood interventions, vulnerable marginalized groups and nutrition. The levels of grants will range between Sh500,000 for a community contribution of 10 per cent, livelihood grant of Sh00,000 for a community contribution of 30 per cent and Sh100,000.00 for vulnerable and marginalised groups who will not be required to contribute any monies to access the grant.

 

Already, the county department of agriculture has started training and mobilizing farmers and interest groups in readiness for the implementation of the project. “Food Security is one of the Agenda 4 items prioritized by president Uhuru and we are moving full steam ahead in equipping farmers towards realization of this important goal through the support from the World Bank” Annie said.