KARI, JICA partner to train Mwea rice farmers

Written By: Benson Rioba

The Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency has initiated a training programme for rice farmers at the Mwea Irrigation Scheme.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

The training involves cultivation of rice via water saving techniques which increase yields from 15 bags of rice per acre to 30 bags.

Kenya’s annual rice demand stands at 540,000 metric tons, against a production of only 140,000 metric tons.

Also Read  Covid raids pockets of wealthy Kenyans as dollar millionaires decline

This means the country has to import the deficit to bridge the gap. The Mwea Irrigation Scheme is Kenya’s biggest rice producing schemes, whose production was adversely affected last year by prolonged drought that led to shortage of water at the scheme.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

The Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization in conjunction with the Japan International Cooperation Agency have been training farmers on water saving techniques which entails flooding the paddy fields only twice as opposed to frequently, to minimize water usage.

Also Read  Emerging technologies can foster inclusive COVID-19 recovery – UN Report

Through this technique, farmers have been able to produce an average of 30 bags of rice per acre as opposed to the usual average of 15 bags.

To further increase rice production, KALRO is developing rice seeds that are drought resistant, disease free and can withstand different climatic and soil conditions.

Also Read  World Bank, EU grants Kenya Kshs 8.9B for water programmes

The construction of the 15 million cubic liters Thiba dam is expected to facilitate putting more acres under irrigation, thus extending the scheme by an additional 2,200 acres.

The expansion programme  is expected to double Mwea’s rice production to about 120,000 metric tons annually.


Tell Us What You Think