Government to increase irrigation funding

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation has called for increased investment in irrigation projects to boost food production.

Kenya currently has 300,000 acres under irrigation but plans to hit one million acres in the next five years.

According to Irrigation Principal Secretary Patrick Nduati Mwangi, the country would record 10,000 acres under irrigation by December through the Galana irrigation scheme alone.

Speaking after touring various small scale irrigation projects in Ihindu Naivasha, Irrigation PS Patrick Nduati said the ministry had identified Mwea and Bura irrigation schemes as projects set to receive increased funds. .

“We are still on course to achieving our target of 1m acres in five years as we are currently doing 50,000 acres every year,” Mr Nduati said.

The PS said that the government was engaging with government officials in Egypt and Sudan on how they have used irrigation to boost food security.

He said that this would be achieved through mechanized irrigation adding that the country needed to do more to get the full results.

According to the ministry official, there are over 200 expanded irrigation schemes in the country that targeted low income earners adding that they had changed many lives.

“The government is offering monetary and technical support to communities using these projects as one way of uplifting their lives,” he added.

On their part, area farmers led by Paul Ndung’u praised the irrigation project noting that it had helped them address the perennial issue of water shortage.

“Before women used to walk for tens of kilometers in search of water but under this project which started in 2012 our problems have been addressed,” he said.

Report by Karanja Kimani