Kieni Canola Oil firm saleslady. Photo by Zablon Oyugi.

Ksh500m World Bank project to benefit 100,000 Nyeri farmers

At least 100,000 farmers in Nyeri are set to benefit from a Ksh500 million agriculture value chain project to be unveiled in the county. The World Bank-funded initiative aims at increasing the farmers’ market participation and competitiveness.

According to Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, the National Agricultural Value Chain Development Project (NAVCDP) is scheduled to be launched this month. It will cover five priority value chains: coffee, banana, avocado, Irish potato, and dairy farming, and aims to build on the success of the National Agriculture and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP).

The recently concluded Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP), as highlighted by the governor, facilitated the transformation of small-scale farmers from subsistence agriculture to commercial production.

A total of 134,358 farmers have already been identified for the programme.

The governor, whose administration will contribute Ksh20 million to the project, commended the enhancements brought about by NARIGP and KCSAP, emphasising their beneficial effects on milk and overall farming communities in regions like Mukurwe-ini and Kieni, alongside the introduction of NAVCDP.

Meanwhile, the county intends to boost investments in food security initiatives, concentrating on improving agricultural production and water management systems, and expanding value addition and market connections.

Kahiga said the Department of Agriculture will prioritise water-efficient irrigation systems and water harvesting projects. Additionally, they aim to enhance the county’s ability to adapt to drought and increase climate resilience by supplying appropriate seeds.

He added that the project also hopes to expand investments in food production, community-based farmer extension services, water management, value addition, market connections, and access to credit for participating farmers.

Other stakeholders expected to benefit from the project include extension officers, aggregators, logistics providers, and small and medium enterprises in the value chains.

NAVCDP is a community-driven initiative that seeks to increase market participation and value addition for targeted small-scale farmers across 33 counties.

It builds on the foundation laid by two existing World Bank-funded initiatives, namely; the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project and the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project, and will mostly focus on a subset of farmers drawn from these two projects.

It will also intensify investments in the selected value chains, and scale up value addition and market linkages with agribusiness off-takers and small and medium enterprises. Further, it will support farmer-led irrigation development (FLID), enhance access to credit, and support the rollout of urban food system pilots in the selected clusters.

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Source:By Zablon Oyugi