BY LELETI JASOR
The pyrethrum revival program received a major boost last week after the national government injected Ksh 45 million in the purchase of seedlings during the current 2019/2020 financial year.
While accompanying Governor Lee Kinyanjui on a tour of pyrethrum farms in Eburru, Gilgil sub-county, Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri commended the efforts of the County Government in reviving the sector.
“We are determined to take pyrethrum back to where it used to be. To show our support we will add Ksh 45 million on what the County is providing for the purchase of seedlings to our farmers,” said Mr. Kiunjuri.
According to the Governor, the County Government had already set aside Ksh 45 million for pyrethrum seedlings, bringing the total amount to Ksh 90 million.
On top of the seedlings, the CS said the Ministry of Agriculture would work to increase the acreage of pyrethrum from the current 6,000 acres to 18,000 acres in this financial year.
The CS added that the Government would work with research institutions to ensure the production of clean seedlings with high pyrethrin content that would guarantee better returns to the farmer.
The two leaders visited two farms and noted that availability of seedlings and a dryer is a challenge, promising to find a solution even as they donated a dryer to one of the farmers.
Governor Kinyanjui, however, commended the efforts of the community in forming organized groups that gave them stronger bargaining power.
In her remarks, Agriculture CECM, Dr. Immaculate Maina, said that liberalization of the industry had resulted in a competitive market that translated to better prices for the farmer.
“Processing companies in the county have largely contributed to the pyrethrum flower production and with collaborative efforts, they supplied clean planting materials to our farmers during the last season,” noted Dr. Maina.
In the last financial year, 14.76 million seedlings were distributed to farmers, covering 802.5 acres.