Muguka farmers in Embu have been given Sh48 million to improve the production of the mild narcotic.
The funds from the Ministry of Agriculture were delivered by CS Peter Munya at Mavuria ward in Mbeere South on Friday.
The CS was accompanied by CAS Agriculture Ann Nyaga and Dr Eshter Kimani, the Pest Control Products Board chairperson, among other local leaders.
‘I have come here to issue a cheque of Sh48 million to saccos, which farmers will access through the saccos as loans to be paid on three per cent interest. This is one of the ways to fight poverty among the miraa farmers in Embu. After engaging with my team, we have decided each farmer access the loan of a maximum of Sh50,000 to ensure many farmers benefit from the money,” CS Munya stated.
He assured farmers of more grants if they spend the given money properly.
The leaders promised to support research institutions in conducting research on Khat so that the plant adds more value.
The farmers were promised the funds in February 2021 at Muraru village when CAS Nyaga officially launched a Sh5.6 million muguka market.
The CAS and other leaders requested the farmers to donate some of their lands for research processes.
“I request you to adhere to the farm inputs you will be advised by the agriculture experts to use on Muguka farming. I also urge the farmers to ensure good use of the funds they receive from the government,” Nyaga said.
She further called on farmers in the region to consider diversified farming to make sure that they are secure in food production when the weather doesn’t favour muguka production.
PCPB chairperson Kimani assured the board would partner with the farmers and the Ministry of Agriculture to monitor the products used in miraa farming to ensure they are not harmful to humans.
According to the Embu county government, currently, there are now 65,000 farmers growing muguka in the area, making the crop one of the highest income earners apart from coffee and tea.