Govt seeks Ksh 7.5B to put 700,000 acres under irrigation

The government is seeking 7.5 billion shillings to put additional 700 thousand acres under irrigation in the medium term.

Irrigation Secretary Aboud Moeva says part of the budget will be raised by farmers through a public private partnership to ensure the plan is realized in time and becomes sustainable.

The Irrigation Act 2019 is backed as an enabler towards attainment of food security, a priority under the government’s big four agenda.

To this end the State Department for Irrigation says it targets to mobilize more than 7 billion shillings  to finance rehabilitation of dams, construction of water pans and water harvesting across  the country.

The government has earmarked lower Nzoia, Mwea, Bura and Perkerra for rehabilitation and expansion in a bid to put an additional 89,000 acres under irrigation in large schemes.

This as community-based smallholder projects acreage is expected to be increased from the current 256,000 acres to 390,000 acres.

At households’ level the government plans to construct 125,000 water pans. Moeva says part of the funding will have to come from farmers as the government intends to adopts  public private partnerships in food production.

The new act is expected to further reduce mismanagement issues that have been bedeviling the irrigation schemes across the country lowering the schemes productivity.

Experts say irrigation is key in mitigating climate change effects that has seen the country become a net food importer.

  

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