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Taita Taveta to reclaim 18,000 acres of waterlogged land for farming

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Taveta sub-county will reclaim and rehabilitate 18,000 acres of waterlogged land for both large and medium-scale farming in Mboghoni ward. This will be used to to build Taita Taveta County’s food security capacity and sustainable economic development.   

According to a statement from the county, unlike most areas in TaitaTaveta experiencing drought, excess waters caused by waterlogging and flush floods are hindering farmers from exploring Mboghoni’s agricultural production potential. Large-scale intervention is necessary to help remove the excess water opening up more land for agricultural production. 

“We have no option but to ensure farmers get enough crop yield to feed the entire county and our neighbours if possible. I have directed the department in charge to liaise with relevant stakeholders to ensure we get the machinery needed for opening up the acreage as you’ve requested. We will work around the clock to address the plight of farmers, the ravaging effects of climate change can only be reversed if farmers embark on serious food production,” said Taita Taveta Governor Andrew Mwadime while on an assessment tour in the area.   

Related News: Farmers advised planting drought-resistant, early-maturing crops as long rains to be insufficient

Related News: Oct-Dec short rains 55-70% lower as Kenya enters 5th drought season

In the company of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation Executive Committee Member Erickson Kyongo and the area Member of County Assembly Khalifa Taraya, the governor reiterated the need for collaboration between his office and the legislative arm in ensuring adequate funds are set aside to open up canals, empower farmers in a bid to shield them from exploitation as well as creating a conducive environment for investors in the county. 

CECM Kyongo added, “Opening up of farms will also create employment for youths and women in Taveta sub-county. This means those in need of fees and other financial support will not depend on the government but have enough cash to support themselves.” 

Kyongo said his office will source for more partners to help open a rice milling factory in the area as cases of exploitation continue to surge leading to losses.

Governor Mwadime also led the issuance of pasture seeds in Mbololo ward, Voi sub-county where over 1,500 farmers are set to benefit from the Livestock Feed Commercialization Project (LFCP). 

The Food Agriculture Organisation – Kenya funded project through the support of Mastercard Foundation is being undertaken in collaboration with Taita Taveta County Government and aims at supporting livestock farmers to commercialize pasture production. 

Related News: Water harvesting enables savvy farmers sell produce at peak prices

58 farmer groups will receive 14 Tons of Pasture seeds which includes 10.4 tons of lowland pasture seeds (African Fox tail, Maasai Love grass, cowpeas, and nutrified) and 3.6 tons of highland pasture seeds (Sugar-graze and Boma Rhodes) enough to plant 2,832 acres.   

Under the LFCPP project, FAO – Kenya will support pasture production commercialization through coaching and mentoring of viable business cases in the county. 

FAO – Kenya in partnership with SNV Netherlands will also support the county to develop the County Livestock Feed Strategy that will create the roadmap for investment in the Livestock Feed value chain.

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