• May 23, 2024
  • Last Update May 23, 2024 12:57 AM
  • Nairobi

State plans to expand irrigation scheme


Wednesday, May 8, 2024

KNA by Steve Gatheru

The State Department for Irrigation plans to expand the Kyeni Kagaari Gaturi Irrigation Project in Runyenjes, Embu county to double its capacity.

Irrigation Principal Secretary Ephantus Kamotho said they are studying how to improve its water capacity so as to double the number of beneficiary farmers.

The PS, who toured irrigation schemes in Embu Tuesday, said the scheme started in 2015 had transformed the lives of its 2250 members by providing reliable all year round income and enabling them to farm with predictability.

Kamotho, accompanied by Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire and the county Women Representative Njoki Njeru, attributed the success of the project to good governance and announced that the national government had agreed to look for funds to develop the proposed.

“Thuci Dam as a social dam project to increase the project’s water capacity. The PS described the project as one of the most impactful, giving each farmer at least Sh45,0000 in income from irrigating one acre each. The farmers here have demonstrated that they only need to be assisted with water to fight poverty,” Kamotho said.

On her part, Mbarire said it was her government’s intention to increase the number of farmers with irrigation water in order to boost their household incomes and to create a steady supply of raw materials for County Aggregation and Industrial Park being constructed at Macang’a in the lower parts of the county.

The Women Representative urged the youth to join their parents in farming, saying the scheme had demonstrated that farming can be profitable.

The Chairman of the Kyeni Kagaari Gaturi irrigation project James Muchiri said the project had not only enabled them to grow enough food for their families, but the were now able to contribute to the international food supply chains.

He said prior to the project, the farmers used to grow maize and beans in two rain fed seasons and even then some families did not have enough to eat.

He said the farmers have since diversified to tomatoes, onions, French beans, bananas, macadamia and avocados.

Muchiri said Hass avocado farming had specifically proven to be lucrative for the farmers, with buyers for the international market coming to collect the produce at the farm gate.

Courtesy; KNA

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