Kenya taps Sh0.7b grant for farmers
European Union (EU) has granted Kenya Sh676 million (Euro 5 million) to support small scale farmers recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The deal being implemented by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) will support farmers’ access inputs to deepen food production in five counties.
Head of EU Delegation to Kenya Simon Mordue said farmers will be looped into the programme through an Electronic Voucher System (e-Voucher).
“We appreciate the flexibility in the emergency response and the fact the European Union, was able to move with speed and reallocate some of the money,” said Hamadi Boga, the Principal Secretary, State Department for Crop Development and Agricultural Research.
Some 19,000 farmers will benefit directly and thus expected to produce 18,000 tonnes of maize, beans and Irish potatoes.
The programme will be implemented in Nakuru, Nandi, Kakamega, Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties for the Covid-19 recovery efforts,” said Mordue during a webinar to launch of the Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme Climate Resillient Agricultural Livelihoods Window (KCEP-CRAL) plus programme yesterday.
“The objective is to produce at least 18,000 tonnes of maize, beans and Irish potatoes, by helping these farmers access quality inputs in the next two planting seasons,” Mordue said.
The project will help to improve the Covid-19 compliance of 68 market places, 235 collection centres, 15 warehouses and 453 agro-dealers, in order to improve hygiene practices and reduce the risks of transmission of the virus.
Farmers will also benefit from capacity building in good agricultural practices, post-harvest management, aggregation and marketing. Esther Kasalu-Coffin, IFAD head of Eastern Africa and Indian Ocean Hub and Country Director said the “e-Voucher scheme” has led to increasing yields by over 50 per cent in the high potential areas.
Farmers will be enrolled in the e-voucher system to access subsidised inputs during the March-April-May 2021 season from the high potential stated counties.