This week will be a busy one for the Miraa Taskforce Report Implementation Technical committee team and the officials from the Ministry of Agriculture; the two teams will be visiting sites that have been identified for the borehole projects.
Following an agreement made by political leaders from Meru,Tharaka Nithi and Embu December last year at Kilimo house. This meeting was a discussion on how to share Sh1 billion issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta to cushion farmers in 2016.
Meru County, the leading mirraa growing zone in Kenya, got the lion’s share of Sh670 million while Embu got Sh167 million. Tharaka Nithi County received the least, Sh41.7 million.
The team will visit the sites to get maps, ownership documents and plans before commencing of the projects, which also include construction of miraa trading shades.
Meru will benefit from 10 boreholes, Tharaka Nithi three and Embu five.
However, Embu will get the highest number of water pans at seven and Tharaka one while Meru won’t get any. The revolving funds have been split into two, Sh400.5 will be for Meru allocation while Sh40 million Embu farmers.
“A high number of land owners from miraa growing zone in Meru lease their farms to the rich since they cannot manage the crop. This has always left them in immense poverty despite being land owners,” said Nyambene Miraa Trade Association chairman, Kimathi Munjuri.
Munjuri, who is also a member of the Miraa Taskforce Report Implementation Technical team, said with the revolving fund, the land owners will now be able to get soft loans, grow the cash crop, manage it as well as irrigate their farms.
Trading shades will also improve handling of the crop and according to Mr Munjuri, this will increase the local market.
Despite an agreement, leaders from Meru still insist the money was meant for miraa farmers from their county alone.