County partners with organization to assist small scale farmers

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

The County Government of Elgeyo Marakwet has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with One Acre Fund, a non-profit social enterprise that supplies financing and training to help smallholder farmers grow.

In the partnership, One Acre Fund will be providing farmers with farm inputs who will, in turn, repay in instalments. The inputs which include planting and top dressing fertilizer, certified maize seeds among others will be delivered to the farmers at market rates to their homes before the onset of April rains which often signals the beginning of the planting season in the region. The farmers will be required to make payments through mobile money transfer in instalments taking between nine to 11 months.

Governor Alex Tolgos while signing the MOU said the partnership was welcome and urged farmers to take advantage of the arrangement since the repayment model was friendly. “During the planting season, farmers delay in planting their crops due to lack of money to buy farm inputs. Most farmers have had challenges in production due to the high cost of production. One Acre Fund has been working with the Department of Agriculture on a pilot basis and we have now formalized the pact” He said.

He urged the organization to extend its services across all the Wards in the County especially along the Kerio Valley. “Most farmers along the Kerio Valley usually plant without fertilizer. Once they are introduced to it, production in the area will double and thereby improve food security,” he added.

On average, it costs a farmer around Sh8,000 on the minimum to plant an acre of land on inputs alone. The County says on average, fertilizer retails at Sh3000, top dressing fertilizer, Sh2700 and Sh2000 to buy seeds before factoring in farm operations which is out of reach of many smallholder farmers.

More than 3000 farmers from Kamariny, Kapchemutwa Wards in Keiyo North and Chepkorio, Kabiemit, Kaptarakwa and Metkei wards in Keiyo South Sub Counties have already been enrolled in a pilot project.

Lilian Avugwi, One Acre Fund, Government Relations Officer said unlike offering direct loans to farmers, the organization had come to be a  bridge by providing the inputs and other extension services like soil testing.

“One Acre focuses on improving food production and since most small scale farmers have financial challenges especially during the planting season, this is where One Acre Fund comes in. We also offer insurance services to the farmers who are enlisted in the program. The model is working so well and we hope to recruit more farmers.” she said.

The organization also donated 40, 500-litre water tanks to be distributed across to be used for handwashing.

Present during the occasion were Deputy Governor Wisley Rotich, County Secretary Paul Chemutut, Livestock and Cooperative CECM Dr Joseph Kiyeng, John Ombogo One Acre Fund Government Relations Specialist, Agriculture Chief Officer Edwin Seroney among other county staff.

Share your views about this story

Related stories

Subscribe to Kilimo News

Get the latest agriculture news in East Africa

Ethanol smuggler using maize arrested

Two traders have been intercepted while trying to smuggle 6200 litres of ethanol while  concealed  in  maize and  wheat bran bags. Stephen  Njuguna Kironji, owner of goods and Kenneth Karanja Kimaku who was the driver of a motor vehicle registration number KCG 865K. The driver was arrested on 13th June 2021 in Kinangop area along Nakuru Nairobi Highway and the owner was arrested at Mugumu Police Station where the vehicle was detained. The customs duty of the goods is  Kshs 2,571,924. The 30 drums of ethanol were concealed inside their Isuzu lorry using 46 bags of maize and 37 bags of wheat bran which were neatly arranged at the rear and side doors. Before their arrest, the two failed to produce importation documents, a licence or registration by KRA, and which are a requirement to import excisable goods such as ethanol. The suspects were charged with three counts relating to tax evasion on Tuesday 15th June 2021 before Engineers Law Court Resident Magistrate Hon Rawlings Musiega. They faced charges of; fraudulent evasion of payment of duty, importation of Excisable goods without a licence or being registered and that of conveying uncustomed goods. The charges are offences under various sections of the East African Community and Customs Management Act 2004, the Excise Duty Act No 23 of 2015 and Excise Duty (Excisable Goods Management System Regulations 2017. They denied the charges and were released on a bond of Kshs 300,000 and a surety or a cash bail of Ksh 150,000 each. In order to import excisable goods such as ethanol into Kenya, importers are required to pay customs duty for the

Read more »