Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Hon. Felix Kosgei concluded his two day visit to Nyandarua County on Saturday after addressing farmers in Nandarasi area, North Kinangop ward in Kinangop sub-County.
During the visit, the Minister launched liquid nitrogen plant in Kari, Ol’joro-Orok sub-county. The factory will be used to store livestock semen to enable farmers access AI services.
The Minister also promised to open the multi-million shillings Oleriondo horticultural market in Ol’Kalou sub-county and appealed to the County Government to speed up water supply to the market.
Nyandarua Governor H.E. Daniel Waithaka Mwangi, the Senator Hon. Eng. Muriuki Karue and area Members of Parliament hosted the Minister in all the areas his visited.
In Ndaragwa sub-county, the Minister toured Nduvai food stores and was disturbed by the ranging drought that has left farmers without food. He said the Ministry will put up a mega dam at a cost of Sh30 million to enable farmers access water for irrigation and home use.
He also directed Agriculture Principal Secretary, Cecily Kariuki to ensure maize from other areas was transported to the Nduvai stores and sold to local farmers. He added that his ministry will provide seeds for drought-resistant crops for distribution to farmers.
Area MP Hon. Waweru Nderitu had said that residents could not produce enough food for lack of water, noting that many crops were destroyed by ranging drought that has become a perennial problem.
The Minister also visited Wanjohi and Kipipiri wards where he toured horticultural farms. He was welcomed by area MP Hon. Samuel Gichigi and area MCA Hon. Mumba Gichini.
In Machinery, within Kipipiri ward, the Minister directed his PS to immediately send officers and equipment to open up a local dam. This was after a request by area MCA Hon. Michael Kirumba.
He also promised to send engineers to explore to map out areas where the government will put up dams facilitate irrigation in Ndaragwa and Kipipiri sub-counties, which are prone to drought.
In Kipipiri ward, the Minister promised to put up a greenhouse to be used by a local sacco society that will be used a demonstration center for farmers keen on learning modern agricultural technologies.
The Minister also visited a pyrethrum farm in Mahiga-Meri along the boundary of Kipipiri and Kinangop sub-counties. He was welcomed by Githioro MCA Hon. Silvestre Kagiri.
In North Kinangop ward, the Minister promised to put up a cold storage for use by horticultural farmers. He also promised to bring engineers to seek the viability of putting up a dam on the foot of the Aberdares to supply water to local farmers.
Kinangop MP Hon. Stephen Kinyanjui Mburu KK and area MCA Hon. D. Wambugu had expressed concerns that farmers were unable to store their product for preservation before taking them to the market.
“We are unable to get better prices in the market owing to lack of cold storage to preserve our products,” said Hon. Wambugu.
Nyandarua Governor and the Senator urged Hon. Kosgei to give the county higher consideration while allocating funds to development projects, saying the area remained marginalized compared to other counties in the former Central Province.
“The resources allocated to county governments are hardly enough, and Nyandarua needs special treatment as we have been marginalized for many years,” the Governor said.
Speaking in Nandarasi, Hon. KK expressed concern the County did not even have a its headquarters saying they were “trapped in Nyahururu town” which is now being administered from Laikipia County.
He said Nyandarua residents had developed Nyahururu town using their resources and there was need for that town to be reverted back to Nyandarua.
However, he urged the national government to allocate money to Nyandarua for construction of county headquarters in Ol’Kalou, which is centrally located, and also avail more funding for infrastructure including roads, water, electricity and health facilities.
The MP said forest products from Nyandarua County alone earned the national government in excess of Sh50 billion annually, yet the county ended up getting Sh3.6 billion annually through the budget.
“If all our wealth is being controlled by the Conservator of Forests whole lives in Nairobi, and we get an allocation of Sh3.6 billion annually, so who is helping the other between Nyandarua County and the National Government?” he posed.
Deputy Governor H.E. Waithaka Mwangi Kirika, who spoke in North Kinangop and Kipipiri wards, hailed the new law on packaging of potatoes at 50kg bag saying it will save the youths from carrying heavy loads that tended to destroy them.
“How can a young man of 18 years be expected to carry a 200 kg bag and survive to become a father?” he posed adding that many youths had destroyed their spine, hence destroying their capacity to enter married life.