By Nicholus Nduati
Pertinent issues that were facing the Galana Kulalu Irrigation Project have been addressed with plans to have the 10,000 acre model farm now firmly on course.
The cost of setting up the model farm has been reduced nearly by half to 7.2 billion shillings. Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa says the model farm would be realized by phasing out what was not essential such as construction of a milling plant that would together with its maintenance would cost 30 billion shillings.
The hope of many Kenyans that the Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme would be a success and help alleviate the food shortage in the country was dashed when it emerged that the first maize harvest yielded a mere 10 bags per acre, short of the targeted 40 bags per acre.
However, Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa now says that some maize varieties produced 39 bags of maize per acre and with the testing period now done, Kenyans should expect higher yields in the next harvest scheduled for next month.
Wamalwa says that his ministry has come up with strategies to reduce the cost of production by half by phasing out the milling component in the contract with Green Arava leaving the milling for private investors.
He says the model farm will be used as a proof of concept to attract local and international investors to Galana.
Wamalwa says the Galana project will help reduce the cost of maize flour to below 84 shillings per 2kg packet.