The County Government of Lamu is increasing the total tonnage of free high-yield planting maize seeds to Lamu County farmers this year to boost its County grain reserve in 2021.
It will distribute 107 tonnes of high-yield PH14 maize seeds, a 168 percent increase, from the 40 tonnes distributed last year.
Another 43 tonnes of free PH4 high yield certified maize seeds has been received at Mpeketoni (ATC) today in addition to 28 tonnes received on 28th March 2021 and stored at the Mokowe Cereal Board Stores.
The seeds, procured from the Kenya Seeds Company, the only government agency mandated to supply high quality seeds, will benefit at least 10,000 small holder farmers.
The free high quality seedlings are part of Governor Fahim’s efforts to ramp up food production in Lamu, looking beyond the pandemic.
“As part of this pandemic’s recovery, we want to build back better, more resilient food systems to protect the Lamu population against hunger. Equipping the smallholder farmer is an important part of solving the food security situation in Lamu,” said Governor Fahim.
Governor Fahim also said that that a strong County grain reserve will also help in cushioning farmers from exploitation in the future, with the national government reviewing its grain prices upwards this year. In January this year, the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) reviewed its maize purchases price upwards for a 90Kg bag to Ksh2,700 from Ksh2,500.
According to Deputy Governor Abdulhakim Bwana, and Agriculture, Cooperative Development, Fisheries, and Water Services CECM, an on-ground survey commissioned by his Department indicates that a sizeable percentage of smallholder farmers are facing mounting challenges accessing inputs – such as seeds and fertilizers because of rising prices and severely reduced household incomes.
“The grain reserve in the county is not promising. By equipping every known smallholder farmer with farm inputs, we are hoping to absorb the planting costs off the farmer during these trying times as well as guard against food hunger in the near future” said Abdulhakim.
The Deputy Governor added that for transparency and accountability, distribution of the seeds will be done by designated community seed distribution committee’s in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Development, Fisheries, and Water Services.
According to the latest UN estimates (SOFI 2020), across the planet, the COVID-19 pandemic was tipped to drive as many as 132 million people into chronic hunger by the end of 2020.
For more information contact:
Lamu County Government Communications Office at firstname.lastname@example.org