County to uplift livelihoods of 11,000 small-scale farmers
More than 11,000 households in Nakuru County are set to be provided with means to start generating income in efforts by the County Government to uplift their status.
In a meeting today, Nakuru County Governor H.E. Susan Kihika said she will work with the Kenya Livestock Commercialization Project (KeLcoP) in an initiative to improve the incomes of small-scale farmers in Nakuru.
“This initiative will go a long way to help alleviate poverty in the County by placing people on the path towards growth through income generation activities,” she said in her office during a courtesy call by Dr Moses Kembe, the KeLcoP project coordinator.
KeLcoP is a six-year project which seeks to transform the livelihoods of small-scale farmers in a four-stage model that starts with a consumption stipend of Sh6,000 to poor households before gradually graduating to savings. The third stage involves indulging the beneficiary household in an economic activity namely goat or sheep farming, beekeeping, rabbit production, and poultry.
This is the graduation model which we will apply to help the beneficiaries climb out of poverty and take charge of their lives,” said Dr Kembe.
The initiative will target four wards in Nakuru namely Mai Mahiu, Gilgil, Soin/Solai and Lari. The indigenous groups of Mariashoni and Neisuti will also benefit from the project.
Governor Kihika, who pledged to be at the forefront of the initiative when it will be launched in each of the wards, challenged the management of the project to ensure that the funds ended up in the beneficiaries’ pockets.
“You have to ensure that the funds reach the targeted groups because sometimes the money ends up in the wrong pockets. My team will sit down with your people to ensure that we have tailored the criteria of deliverance to suit our people,” she said. Agriculture County Executive Committee Member (CECM), Mr Leonard Bor was also present.
The project which covers 10 other counties, targeting 110,000 households, is worth Sh9.4 billion and is funded by the Government of Kenya, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Heifer International, participating Financial Institutions and the beneficiary communities. In Nakuru, a total of 2,750 households are set to benefit from the initiative.
Of the beneficiaries, 54 per cent slots have been set aside for women aged 35 years and above, 30 per cent for youths (male and female between 18 and 35 years), five per cent for vulnerable groups and the rest for men aged above 35 years.
Governor Kihika urged the project management team to allow the government more time to identify the beneficiaries.
“We are requesting you to give us more time to identify the beneficiaries because we want to town the process of identification. We want the right people to benefit from the initiative,” she said.
“We really want this initiative to have an impact on our people,” Governor Kihika explained.
Dr Kembe said through the initiative, they will work to build the capacities of the beneficiaries, provide them with better breeds of goats, sheep, poultry and bees, and provide the youth with start-up capital.
“We will provide the youth with grants to act as capital for start-ups whole those at the commercial level will be linked to financial institutions,” he said.
He said the project also included upgrading two livestock markets which will be equipped with modern infrastructure. They will also provide clean drinking water by drilling boreholes, and constructing pans.