In Murang’a County, registered mango and dairy farmers will now have access to government subsidies through electronic cards. This initiative, launched by Governor Irungu Kang’ata, aims to streamline the distribution of subsidies provided by the county government to farmers who are part of various cooperative societies.

Under the program named Inua Mkulima, Governor Kang’ata explained that the subsidy funds will be loaded onto the electronic cards. Farmers can then utilize these funds to purchase essential items such as animal feeds, agrochemicals, and foodstuffs from selected agrovets and general outlets.

Previously, the county government disbursed subsidies to more than 21,000 farmers in cash over the past year. However, with the introduction of e-cards, the distribution process is expected to become more efficient and transparent.

During a gathering at Kahuro grounds, Governor Kang’ata expressed his optimism about the e-card system, highlighting its convenience for farmers. He emphasized that the initiative aims to empower farmers by providing them with easy access to necessary resources from prequalified outlets across the county.

Currently, 85 outlets have been identified and engaged by the county administration for participation in the program. These outlets will serve as redemption points where farmers can access their subsidy funds and make purchases.

Looking ahead, Governor Kang’ata outlined plans to further enhance the e-card program. By October of this year, farmers will be able to use the same card to settle hospital bills and school fees, expanding the scope of benefits beyond agricultural inputs.

The subsidy program was established in early 2023 to support mango and dairy farmers in increasing production and mitigating price fluctuations. Mango farmers receive subsidies of Sh3.50 per kilo of delivered produce, while dairy farmers receive Sh7 per delivered litre of milk.

Governor Kang’ata stressed the importance of transitioning to the e-card system based on recommendations from stakeholders. This shift aims to maximize the impact of the subsidy program and ensure equitable distribution of resources among farmers.

To ensure accountability and effectiveness, the county government conducted a farmers’ register verification exercise and public participation meetings from March 14 to March 24, 2024. This process aims to streamline subsidy distribution and prevent misuse of funds.

Governor Kang’ata reassured farmers that the subsidy funds would be strictly allocated for agricultural inputs. He emphasized the importance of farmer registration with cooperatives to facilitate subsidy access and encouraged cooperative participation for the benefit of all stakeholders involved.