The Netherlands Ambassador to Kenya, Maarten Brouwer, met with Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki last month and discussed agriculture and how it can be used to benefit the residents.
Youth and their inclusion in agriculture was a major subject as the two men spoke about the need to increase job opportunities by opening up the agricultural sector for the community in an effort to boost livelihoods.
“What we aim to create are sustainable programmes that can last for a long period of time allowing farmers to continue working even with changing weather patterns,” he said.
Dutch government gives support at County level
The Dutch Government had been supporting various agricultural programmes in the country. Tharaka Nithi will continue to receive funding for many value chain support programmes in the agricultural sector.
“We came to look at how things are going on, the development and challenges at the county level in order to understand the real situation. We discussed extensively agriculture, food production, and coffee and nutrition value. We are going to look at programmes that focus on those issues.”
He noted that youth needed to have more active roles in agriculture. He assured the county of collaboration to improve its service delivery ability.
Njuki said that the Dutch Government was supporting various programmes and different aspects within their value chain, such as dairy keeping, bananas, coffee and horticulture and small-scale farming.
The county was keen to see youth involvement in coffee to boost production.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Tharaka Nithi and the Dutch Government
The governor said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the county and the Netherlands to develop a road map on effective delivery of services to the people.
County Executive for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Njue Njagi said the Netherlands Embassy in Nairobi had supported Igamba Ng’ombe Cooperative Society by expanding stores and procuring machinery to help polish and add value to green grams for the niche market.
He explained that through the two-scale project they had received support for farmers by crowd funding to acquire machinery on a 50/50 per cent basis, which has greatly boosted agriculture in the county
Mr Njagi said agriculture was a key area of collaboration for farmers’ capacity building.
“It’s important to maximise production and reduce post-harvest losses by creating better markets for farmers to make good earnings on their produce,” said Njagi
“Youth should learn the best farming practices to increase the daily value chain production by expanding and enhancing what they already have. It includes the importance of introducing new technology to improve milk and beef value and subsidise artificial insemination.”