The government has released seeds, seedlings and other related inputs to be distributed to Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Program (DRSLP) counties.
The programme, established in 2013, has implemented irrigation schemes, water pans and earth dams, boreholes, shallow wells and sand dams in six counties of Turkana, West Pokot, Baringo, Samburu, Isiolo and Marsabit.
Speaking during the flagging off of the consignment at Kilimo House, Nairobi Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary, Anne Nyagah said the project has reached 61,796 households so far, mainly pastoralists and agro-pastoralists.
“To address their need for food and nutrition as well as income generation, the Ministry through the Project Coordination Unit plans to set up demonstration farms for food crops, including kitchen gardens, fodder production and irrigated agriculture,” she said, adding that the initiative is also aimed at mitigating against adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Besides the DRSLP, the ministry is implementing two more projects; Small Scale Irrigation and Value Addition Programme (SIVAP) and Rural Livelihoods for Adaptation to Climate Change (RLACC). The projects are a partnership between the Government of Kenya, Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP).
In the March-May rains, Nyagah said PCU distributed seeds and seedlings worth Sh7.8 million to 11 SIVAP counties and also launched the One Million Kitchen Garden Initiative.
SIVAP operates in Makueni, Kajiado, Machakos, Bomet, Tharaka Nthi, Meru, Nyeri, Tana River, Murang’a, Nyandarua and Kitui.
“My Ministry through the project has set aside Sh500 million to support the one million kitchen garden initiative through provision of kitchen garden kits to 213,090 households in 21 counties,” the CAS said.
The DRSLP seed consignment contained amaranths, cowpeas, dhania, pulses and cereals, water melon, finger millet and fodder. Also included were fruit seedlings such as yellow passion, macadamia, tree tomato, avocado, oranges, mango and pawpaw.
The government has been emphasising the need for households to strengthen their immunity by producing and consuming nutritious vegetables, especially during this time of Covid-19. It has also been spearheading food and nutrition security at household level.