It is a sigh of relief for thousands of Kwale farmers as the county government has started distributing free farm inputs.
The farm inputs will be distributed across the 20 wards targeting smallholder farmers in the region.
The farmers will be receiving certified seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, sprayers, safety goggles, and gum in Kwale county boots among other equipment.
The equipment is worth sh4.5 million.
Governor Fatuma Achani said her administration seeks to empower farmers to boost food security and nutrition.
Achani said the equipment is aimed at relieving farmers from the stress of financial constraints in food production.
She said the lack of proper farming equipment and seeds is always a hindrance for farmers to produce great yields.
The governor said the initiative is part of the county’s efforts to increase the quality and quantity of food production to fight hunger in the region
Achani said the county invests in agriculture to help subsistence farmers produce enough food and improve lives through agribusiness.
He said better farming is the only way the county can fight hunger and overcome the effects of drought and poverty.
Kwale is among the counties that are always affected by drought which normally wreaks havoc on crops and livestock.
Achani said the equipment and certified seeds will help fight diseases and enhance crop resilience thus ensuring sustainable food production in all seasons and stopping depending on relief food each time drought strikes.
The governor said the county is determined to support local farmers with farm inputs, mechanization and technical training to ensure they produce sufficient food and embrace commercial farming.
She directed the agricultural officers to provide the farmers with technical backing to have successful farming.
Achani said the county will continue to hire additional agricultural officers to enable farmers to increase food production at the grassroots level.
She said farming will not only ensure food security but also employment for jobless youth and improve the county economy.
The governor advised farmers to make good use of the equipment to boost farming and living standards.
She added that residents should take advantage of the expected rains to farm and produce bumper harvests.
Achani said the farmers will receive free ploughing services to enable them to prepare their farms timely.
She, however, warned tractor operators against charging the farmers for ploughing services adding that the county caters for everything.
Achani said that any agricultural officer who will be found soliciting money from the poor farmers shall be dismissed and further disciplinary action taken against them.
In recent years the county distributed maize sheller machines to smallholder farmers to reduce post-harvest loss and promote value addition.