Lamu famers will save over Sh.5 million through Lamu County Government’s subsidized mechanization initiative.
The savings will accrue from ploughing over 5,000 acres of land at half the market rate, leaving farmers with more capital to plough back into other productive activities.
Under the initiative, 15 tractors strategically located in Witu, Mpeketoni, Hindi, Faza and Kiunga wards, have ploughed 4,000 acres of farmland at a reduced Sh. 1000 per acre, from Sh. 2,000 per acre.
An additional 1,000 acres will be ploughed in the expected short-rains season.
The initiative, passed under the Financial Bill 2019, by the County Assembly of Lamu, was designed to cushion vulnerable farmers against the effects of Covid-19.
To reduce post-harvest losses, the County government has strategically allocated 5 government-owned trailers and a 10-tone boat. This service will offer free farm-to-market transportation services to farmers in Vumbe, Sadan, Kiangwe, Mwathe and other surrounding farming blocks in Lamu East, who cover long distances to access food markets.
According to Deputy Governor Abdulhakim Bwana, also the Agriculture CECM, the ongoing initiative will ensure the County is food secure, and farmers generate adequate income for their families, and employment for the youth in the County during this evolving Covid-19 phase.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has continued affecting adversely all facets of human life, services as well as economic production systems and agricultural sector in Lamu is not exempted” said the Deputy Governor.
And added: “The tractors in the field have remained operational and we expect a steady supply of food produce in the Lamu markets at affordable prices during this Covid-19 period. ”
The ongoing mechanization of farming activities is a core agenda of Lamu County Governor Fahim Twaha’s manifesto. Further, the government continues to execute crop husbandry, pest and disease control, and also agro-based industries projects.