The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has invested over $8 billion to empower farmers across 10 counties in Kenya.
The Kenyan government in collaboration with IFAD, said that the $8.259 billion agricultural project which is equivalent to Sh9.46 in Kenya’s currency, would benefit small holder farmers across the country.
According to the Kenyan government, the project which has been named; Kenya Livestock Commercialization Project (KELCOP), would be implemented across 10 counties, which includes; Nakuru, Busia, Marsabit, Samburu, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kakamega among others, over a period of six years.
Confirming the project, during a function, the Kenyan Agriculture Ministry Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya, said that the project is set to benefit 11,000 farmers in the fore-mentioned counties, which would be mostly women and youth, in selected areas of in those counties.
The secretary added that the project will empower the farmers and pastoralists by increasing their resilience and adaptation to climate change, increased productivity and use of Information Communications Technology (ICT), adding that farmers will also benefit from scaling up of e-extension services, e-finance models and market information.
Munya disclosed that the project is informed by the lessons and best practices learnt from other similar projects implemented by IFAD in Kenya and other countries.
Those present at the function includes: the Principal Secretary State Department for Livestock, Harry Kimutai and IFAD Country Director, Mariatu Kamara.
As gathered, the project is being financed by a loan from IFAD to the tune of Sh5.5 billion while the Government is putting in Sh1.9 billion. The benefitting farmers will also put in Sh1.9 billion among other financiers.
As of 2020, Kenya’s cattle stock stood at 21.7 million heads. In the previous year, 20.9 million heads of cattle were kept for breeding or raised either for draft purposes or meat, eggs, and dairy production. The country’s animal population comprises 18.8 million cattle (14.3 million beef cattle and 4.5 million cows), 26.7 million goats and 18.9 million sheep, 3.2 million camels, 44.6 million poultry, 1.9 million donkeys, 0.5 million pigs among others.