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Lower Nzoia Irrigation to inject Ksh 5B into the economy

Siaya Governor James Orengo

The Lower Nzoia irrigation project will inject over five billion shillings into the economy once fully actualized, the Principal Secretary for Irrigation, Ephantus Kimotho has said.

Kimotho said that the multi-billion project, that is nearing completion, will put 10,000 acres under rice production in Siaya and Busia counties hence helping to reduce rice deficit in the country.

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He was speaking in Siaya town Wednesday when, together with his trade counterpart, Alfred Kombudo and World Bank officials paid a courtesy call on Siaya Governor, James Orengo.

Kimotho said that the Lower Nzoia Irrigation project was expected to produce 56,000 metric tonnes of rice.

“This will help reduce the country’s rice deficit that stands at 700,000 metric tonnes” he said.

He said that the government has out in place several linkages that will ensure that the project generates the envisaged Ksh 5 billion into the economy.

The PS called on the county government of Siaya to establish the county irrigation development unit which, he added, will offer essential services to farmers.

The principal secretary for trade, Alfred Kombudo said his ministry was keen to ensure that markets work correctly so that farmers who will venture into rice and high value crops production can realize profits.

“We are keen to use instruments within the ministry of trade and the finance and production cluster to ensure we work with better aggregation of produce, better storage to reduce post-harvest loses and better connection to markets through commodities exchange and warehouse receipt systems to benefit our farmers” said Kombudo.

Siaya governor, James Orengo hailed the national government for its commitment to the successful completion of the project.

Orengo said that the region had for a long time not had a project of that magnitude in the agricultural sector.

The governor said that his government will support initiatives aimed at expanding the acreage under rice production, adding that the construction of a rice mill by the County Government of Siaya was almost complete in Usonga ward.

He expressed hope that the second phase of the Lower Nzoia Irrigation project will kick off immediately the first phase is finalized early next year.

KBC Correspondent
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