Kitui, Wednesday 13 June, By Brian Peter
The World Bank has partnered with the Kitui County Government in a 146.5M project that will steer the convertion of subsistence farming to profitable economic ventures in the county through strengthening producer organizations and value chain development.
The project, dubbed National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP), kicked off fully yesterday with it’s first sub-county leadership, technical staff and stakeholders sensitization workshop held at the ATC Hall Kitui Town. Although the project is a nation-wide endeavor, with similar projects in 21 other counties in Kenya; Kitui is in it’s first phase.
Five sub-counties and 20 wards are targeted to benefit from this project, in which the County government will only contribute 6.5million from it’s coffers. These sub-counties are Kitui Central, Kitui East, Kitui Rural, Mwingi North, and Mwingi Central. The wards targeted are Ngomeni, Kyuso, Mumoni, Tharaka, Nguni, Nuu, Mui, Waita, Kisasi, Mbitini, Kwa-Vonza/Yatta,Kanyangi, Miambani, Kyangwithya, among others.
This project has a three-tier implimentation structure: national to county, then community levels. It aims at achieving community-led development through participation, inclusion, transparency, accountability, value for money, self-help, and poverty targeting.
A competent county project co-ordinating unit (cpcu) comprised of technical staff from different county departments has been set up to oversee NARIGP. Key among the projects being funded are sustainable land management (SLM) projects, rural/value chain related infrastructural projects, landscape-wide investment projects, youth, women, pwds, vulnerable persons and people living with HIV, OVC, the maginalized, poor and landless in the county.
NARGIP will use a three-point approach to achieve it’s project development objectives: a holistic and integrated landscape approach; community-driven development; and market-driven approach. It seeks to address poverty reduction, nutrition, increased production, and emergency crisis response in the community levels.
NARIGP will only work with common interest groups(CIGs) and vulnerable marginalized groups(VMG). Residents are therefore encouraged to form and register community -based groups and write proposals for innovative climate-smart farming projects so as to access the grands that range from Ksh. 50,000 for nutrition projects to Ksh. 500,000 for SLM projects. Community investment projects will recieve grants up to a maximum of Ksh. 200,000,but the groups must contribute 30% of the budget, according to Mr Peter Liru, a CPCU member of NARIGP.
NARIGP is classified as a category B project by the World Bank and is planned to run for five years. According to Bendetta Kasyoka, the official incharge of the project’s financial management, the minimal allocation per ward is $115,000(Ksh. 11.5 million).