Governor Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya Friday officially rolled out this year’s County Farm Input Programme to enable farmers access high quality subsidized fertilizers and maize seeds. The County boss also launched World Bank funded Climate Smart Agriculture Programmes for Malava, Navakholo and Lurambi Sub Counties to boost fisheries, poultry and maize production.
Speaking during the event held at Eshisiru grounds, Lurambi sub county, the governor thanked residents for impressive turnout, adding that it proved they valued the programme’s benefits. “Agriculture, more so food security, is the backbone of our nation and that is why devolved units have embraced and prioritized hunger eradication through such projects,” he said.
The projects which have been running for several years now are funded by the County Government in partnership with numerous national and international sponsors including World Bank, USAID, Kenya Cereals Enhancement Programme, German Development Bank and UNEP among others.
The governor said the County Government has set aside Sh200 million every year on agricultural projects to ensure food security in the County. He urged farmers who reside close to bordering counties to avoid the temptation to sell subsidized farm inputs meant for Kakamega County to outsiders.
“It’s wise to use the resources provided by the County within our borders to maximize productivity,” he said. He encouraged farmers to form cooperative societies as this would facilitate structured government support.
He later handed over a cheque for Sh53 million from the Climate Smart Project to beneficiaries from six wards of Malava, Navakholo and Lurambi Sub Counties.
Deputy Governor, H.E. Prof. Philip Kutima who doubles up as the CECM for Agriculture commended the governor for his visionary leadership and for initiating people-centred projects.
Prof. Kutima said that this year each ward will receive 100,000 bags of fertilizer and Kenya seed will bring in more to cater for the needs of farmers.
Climate Smart Agriculture Programme funded by the World Bank is supporting fish farming projects in Shinyalu to the tune of Shs34 million, Murenga Dam in Lukuyani for Shs45 million and Inaya dam in Butere for Shs22 million. The bank has also provided 7 field vehicles for project monitoring. More projects in several wards will be rolled out soon and all of them will get similar support from the World Bank.
Later in the day, the governor accompanied by the CECM Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Joseph Indire visited Kakamega School during their cultural week to congratulate them on their good performance in examinations and for excellence in drama and rugby championships. He urged them to take education seriously.
The governor donated over one million shillings to the school; the money will be shared among stakeholders including teachers and students.
Also present were Chief Officer Agriculture, Jeremiah Namunyu, Kakamega senator Cleophas Malala, Woman Representative Hon. Elsie Muhanda, Lurambi MP Hon. Titus Khamala, MCAs, COs, and Sub County administrators among others.