Murang’a County will use Sh255 million to subsidise the maize sector for the two seasons this year.
Governor Mwangi wa Iria said the budget would fund issuance of hybrid maize seed as well as free fertiliser and pesticides.
He said the programme targets 250,000 small-scale farmers who grow maize to help in their efforts to be food secure as well as post surplus for the market.
He said the programme targets to have the farmers harvest two million bags of maize in 2019 as opposed to the 500,000 bags produced in 2015.
“We intend to harvest maize that is worth Sh6 billion in 2019 hence making the programme profitable.
“We intend to use agriculture as the express vehicle towards wealth creation in the county and one way of doing so is subsidising all the promising sectors of agribusiness,” he said.
He said in 2017 farmers in the county produced 800,000 bags of maize, citing it as evidence that his government’s subsidy programme is bearing fruit.
“My government will spread the subsidy programmes to all the sectors that have a high multiplying factor. These areas are in the horticulture, coffee and tuber farming. By 2022, we want to hit 50 per cent of subsidies in the agriculture sector so as to stretch profit margins for our farmers,” he said.
The governor said despite the fact that the county had been experiencing erratic rainfall, efforts are on to increase irrigation agriculture as well as invest in technology that is effective in production.
Research by the county has shown that the ideal rain-fed maize seeds are those that mature at a maximum of three months.
“When we follow it up with timely fertilisers and pesticides, we are posting positive results.
“Our target is to have Murang’a people miss from the list of food beggars and have them in the market as traders in farm produce,” he said.