ELGEYO MARAKWET – In a significant push for food security and economic stability, the Elgeyo Marakwet County Government has commenced the distribution of 50,000 fruit seedlings to households across three of its Wards. This initiative falls under the Kilimo Biashara program, spearheaded by Governor Wisley Rotich, designed to enhance agricultural production and household income.
According to Kenya News Agency, the County Executive Committee Member for Environment, Water, and Climate Change, this initiative is aimed at achieving Governor Rotich’s goal of securing food availability and improving economic outcomes for the families in the county. He outlined that the initiative includes 20,000 tomato seedlings and 30,000 cypresses, targeting farmers in Kabiemit Ward in Keiyo South Sub County, Lelan Ward in Marakwet West, and Kapyego Ward in Marakwet East Sub-County.
The move has garnered positive responses from the local farming community, with the program’s timing coinciding with the onset of the rainy season, which is expected to improve the success rate of tree planting and growth. Peter Biwott, a beneficiary from Lelan Ward, noted that the seedlings’ arrival will not only promise better income from the sale of fruits but also guarantee a regular fruit supply for the residents’ own consumption.
Efforts to ensure effective implementation of the program included the creation of a detailed farmer database, which streamlines the logistical aspects and provides a resource for potential future investors. Isaac Koech, the Chief Officer in the Department of Environment, Water, and Climate Change, confirmed that plans are underway to expand the program across all wards in the county.
The county’s broader strategy involves a commitment to distribute an additional 100,000 avocado and 300,000 cypress trees within the next week, setting a target of planting over half a million fruit trees across the 13 wards by the end of November.
Local legislators, including MCAs Priscilla Kurgat of Lelan and Joseph Chebet of Kapyego Ward, have commended the initiative, highlighting the external partnerships formed to secure the seedlings as evidence of Governor Rotich’s dedication to the community’s welfare.
The county administration is capitalizing on the favorable weather conditions to enhance its agricultural and environmental profile, with a call to residents to engage actively in tree planting activities as part of this broad agricultural development plan.