Food Security

Many farmers in Kitui practice small scale farming to make a living but the productivity has remained very low keeping the farmers in abject despite putting long hours and effort.

Governor Charity Ngilu identified food security as one of her five pillar manifesto. The county government embarked on encouraging and supporting a shift to drought-resistant and high-value crops such as pulses.

The county has invested heavily in supporting small scale agricultural programs dubbed ‘Mianda Irrigation’ scheme. The farmers have been supported through the provision of seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, and tractors ploughing farms, solar generators and county agricultural extension officers supporting the farmers.

 

Since Governor Ngilu assumed office in 2017, more farmers have taken up horticultural farming through the “Mianda” farming program.

Famers receive among others seeds and pesticides to grow high-value crops like vegetables that mature faster for both domestic and commercial purpose.

A tour of the rural areas of Kitui is evidenced by a rising number of farmers who have joined the programme launched by the County Government in 2017.

The farmers tell a story of improved livelihoods, increased gains and expanded lands under farming as the key upshots of the Mianda irrigation programme.

Richard Mutua Kimanzi, a farmer in Mbitini, Kitui Rural gives an account of a fifteen-year journey in farming that has seen him grow his farming capacity from gains accruing from horticulture.

Kimanzi, however, narrates how his production capacity has continually increased since the County Government introduced the “Mianda” programme in late 2017. He says he received the news of a programme targeting cooperatives with great hope and joined other farmers who shared his dream.

The first round of his project under the programme would yield 40 sacks of red onions {4000 kilogrammes} that he sold at Sh240, 000 retaining sh.180,000 as profit. Kimanzi, who resigned from an industrial area company in Nairobi where he worked for years before joining farming prides in his new scheme.

“I have since acquired more land for my project. I earlier sponsored my wife’s college education and am paying my children’s boarding fees. These are not trivial strides”. He says.

Kimanzi is an example of many more farmers earning fortunes from the Mianda irrigation project.

The project has since succeeded in many parts of Kitui County and more farmers have formed cooperatives to collectively bargain for better prices and fetch higher benefits from the county government braced programme.

Water and food security form Governor Charity Ngilu’s five-pronged development manifesto followed by healthcare, education and youth development, women empowerment and wealth creation respectively.

The county government acquired 40 tractors deployed across the county as part of effort to mechanise farming.

The county has further seen strengthen and well-equipped support system through agricultural extension officers who have been given 26 new motorcycles for easy movement.

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