An agricultural firm has identified a pilot project aimed at kicking off harvesting of water, bee keeping and fruit farming in Kajiado county.
The project which currently in its feasibility study will be launched in Orgira location in Dalalekutuk Ward and is expected to benefit 24 villages.
Speaking in Oloontuligum area of the ward on Wednesday evening, Latia Agribusiness Solutions Ltd managing director, Peter Muthee (above left), said the pilot project will be funded by the company, and is expected to take off in October.
“We are working on the concept before we identify one village out of the 24 villages in Orgira location where we will pilot the project of water harvesting, bee keeping, mango plantation and goat keeping for milk production,” said Muthee.
Muthee said the pilot project will be fully financed by the company, and thereafter, if it becomes successful he will negotiate for funding from the company’s partners locally and abroad.
He said the soil and temperature in Kajiado Central sub county are similar to those in Makueni, and therefore mango production can be the same.
“The only challenge we have in this area is the scarcity of clean water for the villagers, and this is the reason why we have come up with this pilot project which hopes to empower the local community embark of harvesting rain water and bee keeping for commercial purposes,” said Muthee.
The official was in the area with top managers of the various organisations that funds Latia in Kajiado and other parts of the country to assess the impact of poultry farming that was initiated early in the year for the local community.
Latia started poultry keeping for 1, 200 women in the ward at a cost of Sh10 million in March, this year and the beneficiaries have started make gains from the project.
The company, through funding from Monsanto Kenya Ltd and Faraja Trust distributed four chicks to each of the members, while Kajiado nominated senator Judy Pareno added 2 chicks to each of the women to kick off poultry farming in the region.
Muthee said Kajiado county livestock farmers lost many cattle to drought early in the year because of poor planning and husbandry.
“The county very many seasonal rivers during rain seasons, and wondered why the government has never thought of financing damming of those rivers so as to retain water for use by farmers during drought,” he wondered loudly.
Pareno said the government has the best blue prints for development in East Africa and yet the same are gathering dust because they are not used.
“As legislators, we spend money traveling out of the country for benchmarking and yet the same cannot be translated in to meaningful development in our country,” said Pareno.
Monsanto Kenya Ltd was represented in the tour by its corporate engagement lead in Africa, Jimmy Kiberu.
Latia Agribusiness Solutions Ltd (LAS) is a Kenyan company that provides business support services (BSS) to farmers and agribusinesses in Africa.
LAS was started by Latia resource Center (LRC), a not for profit organization, to medernise agriculture and improve livelihoods through provision of BSS like training, dissemination of technology, marketing support and increasing access to financial services for farmers, pastoralists and Agribusinesses.