By George Munene
Murang’a County Government has launched the Guaranteed Minimum Return program (GMR) subsidy for milk and mango farmers.
As of January 2023, a supplementary Sh3.50 will be paid out monthly for every liter of milk delivered to a manufacturer based in Murang’a and 7 shillings for 1kg of mangoes supplied through Lower Murang’a Cooperative.
The GMR project which was launched yesterday (2nd April 2023) at Gatunyu ground in Gatanga Constituency currently directly benefits 13 cooperatives representing 19,254 dairy farmers selected for the dairy subsidy program and 828 mango farmers.
The Murang’a County Assembly appropriated Sh200 million for the fiscal year 2022/23 to finance the program.
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The Mango Subsidy program is meant to benefit the county’s neglected mango sector. Through the Lower Murang’a Cooperative Society special purpose vehicle has thus far enabled 828 farmers who sold their mangoes at Sh16 per kilogram to earn an additional Sh7 a kg. This is computed as Sh3.5 for each of the two harvest months of February and March 2023 increasing the buying price of mangoes to Sh19.5 per kg.
During the 2022 general elections campaign Governor Irungu Kang’ata promised GMR for the mango and milk sectors based on the rationale that mango farming is predominantly practiced in the lower zones of the county covering at least ten electoral wards while dairy farming cuts across coffee and tea zones in the middle belt and upper zones of the County. This makes the program well spread across the county.
Following approval by the Murang’a County Assembly of the Murang’a County Agricultural Subsidy Policy that laid the roadmap to attaining the GMR he promised that he had the requisite Policy and Legal Framework to fully anchor the subsidy program.
Cabinet Secretary Investment, Trade, and Industry Moses Kuria promised more goodies for the county’s farmers by constructing an industrial park in the county.
“Starting June of this year we will be building five Export Processing Zones (EPZs) across the country to decongest the country’s sole EPZ at Athi River. This is in addition to one county aggregation and industrial park in 23 counties. For both of these projects we will ensure Murang’a is featured,” he said.
The project will require counties to pay out Sh250 million with a similar amount coming from the government.
“Farmers will be able to add value to fruits such as mangoes and avocadoes enabling them to avoid the seasonal losses associated with market oversupply. The EPZ Zone which will be established for Sh1 billion will employ 30,000 of Muranga’s youth,” Kuria stated.
Specific details on Murang’a County’s GMR program are available at the Subsidy Fund Manager’s Office, Muranga Town.