KNA The Government has set up demonstration plots for Crops, Livestock fodder production and Kitchen Gardens as a Covid – 19 response initiative.
This includes production demonstrations for High Value Pulses, Cereals, and Fruits Trees.
The Government is also providing clean planting materials for establishment of fruit tree orchard demonstrations in some of the established irrigation schemes.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS), Peter Munya, said today they are also establishing and strengthening nutrition units for communities at the county level through establishment of Home Kitchen gardens
Speaking at Kilimo House when flagging off 10 vehicles to be distributed to Counties that are under the government’s Small-Scale Irrigation and Value Addition Programme (SIVAP), Munya said so far, the project has reached 106,900 households as beneficiaries which are mainly pastoralists and agro-pastoralist.
SIVAP is operating in 11 counties namely: Makueni, Kajiado, Machakos, Bomet, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Nyeri, Tana River, Murang’a, Nyandarua and Kitui.
The CS noted that during the March -May 2020 rains, seeds and seedlings worth Sh 7.8 million were purchased and distributed to SIVAP counties.
“These counties have managed to set up 220 demonstration plots for both crops and livestock fodder,” he added.
He explained that the current on-going SIVAP projects include 12 irrigation schemes, 38 water pans, 17 bore holes, eight (8) shallow wells and sand dams, five (5) grading shades, four (4) Livestock Sale Yards and Rehabilitation of 65 KMs of rural roads which are at various stages of completion.
Through the projects’ support Munya said that the Ministry launched “The One Million Kitchen Garden Initiative,” in Makueni County in June last year.
“Through the project we set aside Sh 500 million to support the one million kitchen garden initiative through provision of kitchen garden kits (Solar Dryers, shade nets and assorted vegetable seeds) for 213,090 Households in 21 counties”, he said.
The SIVAP programme is funded by a loan from Africa Development Bank (AfDB), a grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) and the Government of Kenya
The CS has further said that AfDB has also extended a Sh.3. 8 billion loan facility to roll out the small irrigation and value addition in 11 counties that will benefit from the construction of feeder roads to help farmers access markets for their produce.
So far the Ministry has distributed 51, 940 fruit seedlings namely avocado’s, grafted mangoes and apples, oranges, banana, passion, tree- tomato, pawpaw and macadamia.