The Ndengu Revolution
Jointly sponsored by the County Government of Kitui and Kenya Red Cross
Friday, 6 October 2017, Nairobi, Kenya.
The County Government of Kitui (CGoK) has entered into a mutual partnership with the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) for the launch of the Ndengu Revolution food security project that targets approximately 200,000 small holder farmers in Kitui County.
The project likewise seeks to improve food security and livelihood of Kitui residents, reduce poverty through rural development and train small-scale farmers alongside provision of financial services to the farmers.
Speaking during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at the Kitui County offices, Dr. Abbas Gullet the Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross emphasized on the need to create community resilience, ownership and self-reliance through such transformative projects.
“Preparations are already underway targeting the short rainy season of October-November-December where a normal to enhanced rainfall is predicted in the county. The targeted communities will receive high grade and quality certified green grams seeds for agriculture due to its good yielding, high returns and the community understands of green grams farming,” Dr. Gullet said.
Kitui has been one of the regions most affected by the impact of the failed rains that have occasioned the current drought crisis in Kenya. The project will therefore support communities to meet their immediate needs through early recovery initiatives that strengthen livelihood through support to subsistence farmers, as well as access to water.
On her part, Kitui governor Charity Ngilu said her administration would support residents in tackling perennial food shortage and deep rooted poverty in the county by utilizing locally available resources.
She said each household will be issued with a 2Kgs packet of seeds which is enough for planting in a half acre farm.
Whereas the seeds would have cost a farmer Ksh 500, the county government will pay Ksh 250 for each farmer while KRCS will top up the balance of the other ksh 250. The green gram KS20 and N26 seed types suitable for the county will be distributed.
“This will cost us just about Ksh 100 million. If each kilogramme yields a bare minimum of 90 kgs, this will give us a total of 36 million kilogrammes which when sold at Ksh 100 per kilo gives us a total of Ksh 3.6 billion! Imagine Ksh 3.6 billion in one season in Kitui County,
from investing only Ksh 100 million in seed – isn’t this a good investment and good value for money?” the governor posed.
In addition to supporting the farmers access seeds, the county government will assist farmers to access agricultural extension services and technical advice from agricultural experts. KRCS will also collaborate with the county government to secure ready market for the farmers by organizing them into cooperatives that can market their produce in bulk.
“Through legislation, we shall protect our farmers from brokers who come to exploit our people after harvest of their farm produce” the governor said.
The partnership will further see KRC rehabilitate 20 boreholes, water pipeline and water points as part of the emergency interventions to enable communities in Kitui to access water as they wait for recharge of surface water sources in the short rains.
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