52 farmers groups in Vihiga County have benefited from a grant of over Kshs 14 million from the World Bank in partnership with the Vihiga County government. The Kshs 200 million program is in its first roll period, and it’s intended to empower local farmers engaging in agribusiness.
Speaking at the County headquarters during the official launch, Governor Wilber Otichilo expressed his delight in the project, saying it has taken more than two years to accomplish the first level. He cited the logistical issues encountered in fulfilling the World Bank as the main cause of delays.
Governor Otichilo however expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Agriculture for settling on Vihiga as the 21st County out all the 47 Counties to benefit from the project.
In his attempts to improve the agribusiness in the County, the Governor insisted that he was determined to employ agricultural extension officers who would be deployed in the villages and will be expected to give daily updates on the state of farmers within the County once the stalemate between the national assembly and Senate is resolved. “We can’t claim that we are improving the farmers in their practices if we can’t employ enough extensive officers to provide the farmers with the technical skills,” he said.
The Vihiga Agriculture CEC Pamela Kimwele challenged other groups in the County to turn out in large numbers and present valid proposals. She said this is the only way they’ll benefit from the Kshs 200 million. The 52 groups, which represent less than 10 percent of the 600 groups intended to benefit from the project, have been drawn form 8 wards.