Farmers in Siaya County have been urged to compete for grants worth millions of shillings under the Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems Activity Fund to help improve value addition on agricultural products output to meet the global market standards.
The County Executive Committee Member in charge of Agriculture Mr. Charles Ogada have asked famers to liaise with agriculture experts to help them draft quality proposals that will attract the now available grants.
While decrying the difficulties experienced by farmers to improve value for their products due to limited resources, the Executive Member noted the potential for improved quality of farm products to meet the current market needs.
Mr. Ogada who spoke on Monday during the County’s Business to Business (B2B) Forum held at Siaya Agriculture Training Center hailed the grant initiative saying that it will increase the productivity and incomes of smallholder farmers and other actors along the value chain, who are working in the dairy, maize (and other staples) and horticulture sectors.
The Activity Fund will develope smallholder enterprises that combine maize, high- value horticultural crops and dairy farming to generate wealth, thereby enhancing food security, improving nutrition and increasing economic opportunities for women, youth and other vulnerable populations.
The programme which allows individuals or farmers organised in groups to benefit from up to KShs. 25 million is funded as part of ‘Feed the Future Initiative’, a US Government Funded Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative that helps to increase agricultural production.
Feed the Future investments are focused in 12 target counties in Kenya including Siaya, and in four main value chains including dairy, livestock, horticulture, and staple foods such as maize, millet and sorghum.
According to Kenya Crops and Dairy Activity Regional Manager Mr. Seth Yake , only famers with viable proposals and have committed half of the funds they are seeking from KCD Activity Fund will be approved and funded to increase value on the crop production.
Mr Yake who was accompanied by grant advisors Martin Wabwire and Isaac Samoei said that the programme runs for five years beginning October 2017 through to October 2022.
The Regional Manager further disclosed that Feed the Future activities will also link producers to markets, improve input supply, increase access to financial and business development services, promote innovative private sector solutions and facilitate more efficient business practices and farmer-friendly policies that contribute to a growing national economy.
By Siaya County Press Unit