The Swedish envoy to Kenya Ambassador Caroline Vicini has hailed the County Government of Siaya and Agricuture Sector Development Support Program II (ASDSP II) coordination team for proper investment of the KShs. 110 million European Union support on mango, fish and indigenous chicken value chains in Siaya County. The program has thrived and transformed lives of some 14,136 famer groups in the region according to available statistics.
Speaking while paying a courtesy call on Siaya Governor His Excellency Cornel Rasanga at the Governor’s Siaya Office early today, Ambassador Vicini noted that the five year program ending in 2022 targets the three value chains and is pegged on Agriculture Strategy Development. The project is jointly funded by the County Government of Siaya, Kenya’s National Government, SIDA and The European Union.
“We are happy to see how the project is making an economic impact in the lives of Siaya people and thumps up to the program coordination team for incoporating the youths who are key in enhancing the project sustainability,” noted Ambassador Vicini.
The Ambassador later inspected project beneficiaries including Kanyingi Indigenous Poultry Project, Luanda Kotieno Self Help Group dealing in Fish and Mango value chain and Sparrow Youth Group at Siaya Agricultural Training Center involved in the Mango Fruit Value Chain.
The project is supporting 3,949 fish entrepreneurs while indigenous chicken and mango is benefitting 4,119 and 2,068 farmer entrepreneurs respectively.
His Excellency Cornel Rasanga Amoth in his remarks noted that the project has boosted incomes of Siaya people who were in the past wallowing in poverty at the grassroots.
“We now have producers along fish, mangoes and chicken value chains courtesy of the project interventions. We also created incubator operators platform, fingerling producers and seedling operators that now thrive.” The Governor while appealing for continued support noted that expanded market access locally and internationally was the missing link that should be targeted by the next interventions.
To enhance marketing in mangoe value chains, the Agriculture Executive Dr. Elizabeth Odhiambo noted that the County Government of Siaya had reached out to partners like Agry-cycle who run an internal market and Siaya youths under the program have been solar drying mangoes for export.
Dr. Odhiambo added that the project has also supplied fish feeds and predator linings to fish famers as a strategy of strenthening the initiatives. The Executive further noted that the County Government of Siaya had invested KShs. 40 million to procure patrol boats for the fishermen dealing in fish cages to enhance security in the lake.
“The fish chain has received huge support in this programme including capacity building fishermen in the 34 Beach Management Units in Siaya apart from the patrol boats that we supplied them,” said Odhiambo.