The government is seeking to increase five-fold rice production to 400,000 metric tons annually in the next 3 years.
Under the 200 million shillings rice project, women and youth will be funded to participate in the rice value chain and be trained on the best practices to boost yields.
Kenya currently produces between 70-80 thousand metric tons of rice against a consumption rate of close to 500 thousand tons with the rice being the second most consumed food crop after maize.
Kenya spends 7 billion shillings on rice imports as demand continues to rise due to increased urbanization, a growing middle class and diet diversification.
The government in collaboration with AfricaRice, Africa Harvest and the International Fund for Agricultural Development have initiated a 3-year project aimed at boosting production five times to 400,000 annually.
This comes as rice farmers in the Lower Kuja Rice Irrigation Scheme in Migori County are set to get a 140 million shillings windfall during their pilot phase.
According to the scheme’s manager Nesline Akoth plans are underway to increase acreage under the food crop from the current 19,000 acres to 84,000 acres as well as construction of a milling factory in Nyatike. There are plans to also diversify to other crops.