The compensation of farmers after the 2019 and 2020 desert locusts’ invasion has been commenced by the national government.
The locust invasion that occurred over two years ago affected the farmers’ livelihoods and the World Bank is funding the Programme to ensure restoration of farmers’ livelihoods.
Based on county authorities’ data, the desert locusts’ invasion reversed gains that had been achieved through investment in crop production by various irrigation schemes.
Through the world bank-funded Emergency Locust Response Programme, beneficiaries in 15 counties that were a victim of the hard-hitting pests epidermic in 2019 are set to receive compensation.
Turkana county’s 10 wards are to receive 36 million after locusts lay to waste more than 15,000 hectares of crop and pasture.
According to Agriculture and Pastoral Economy Executive George Emoru, the 10 most affected wards are set to benefit from the first phase of the Programme.
The money will be channeled through community driven development committees.” The grant is aimed at supporting both farmers and herders to restore their productive livelihoods for sustained food security by venturing in both livestock and crop production,” Mr. Emoru said.
He added that county officials from both agriculture and livestock sectors are to monitor the committees to ensure the funds are prudently spent. The beneficiaries are drawn from Kapedo/Napeitom, Lokori/Kochodin, Lobei/Kotaruk, Lokiriama/Lorengpi, Letea, Kalapata and Kaeris, Kerio, Kaputir and Knamkemer wards.
Mr. Emoru added that county officials from both agriculture and livestock sectors will monitor the committees to ensure funds are prudently spent.
“Prudent use of grants in conformity with procurement regulations that will result in positive transformation for targeted households will see more wards reached,” he urged.
The pastoral economy chief officer Abdullahi Yusuf challenged the beneficiaries to not only invest in income generating activities but also improve access of food at household levels as a means of earning from sales of surplus.
Mr. Yusuf recounts on how the farmers have also benefitted from livelihoods recovery efforts in a joint partnership between the county government and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
Allegedly more than 1,800 farmers received certified seed and were supported in establishing kitchen gardens to boost production of highly nutritious vegetables.
The county of Tharaka-Nithi leading the course as Tharaka North sub-county farmers who were victims of desert locusts received Sh2.2million. Governor Muthomi Njuki yesterday disbursed the money to 20 groups of farmers in Gatue, Maragwa, Kanjoro and Kathangacini locations.
Mr. Njuki said the free seed Programme has seen farmers offered sprayers, pesticides, free certified maize and green grams seeds in a bid to boost food harvesting in the semi-arid areas that have previously experienced perennial food shortages.
Mr. Njuki remarked on an observation of having witnessed a bumper harvest in the last seasons courtesy of this Programme which is ensuring farmers plant the right seeds for certain areas.