Agriculture Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe (right) chats with Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana during the signing of an irrigation project. [Dennis Okeyo, Standard]
Eleven counties are set to benefit from a Sh6.8 billion agricultural project to improve food security in the country through irrigation.
The six-year Small Scale Irrigation and Value Addition Project (SIVAP), which was supposed to kick off last November but delayed, will be funded through a loan from the African Development Bank (Sh3.8 billion), the Government’s Sh690 million while the Global Agricultural and Food Security Programme will pump in Sh2.3 billion.
The project will target 10,400 households in the selected counties with a view of increasing agricultural productivity and enhance market access for both crops and livestock.
It will also enhance value addition and build capacity of both staff and value chain actors.
During the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government and Council of Governors (CoG) to set out modalities of implementation, both parties concurred that rain-fed agriculture has proved not viable with the unpredictable climatic conditions.
The selected counties are Kajiado, Bomet, Nyeri, Nyandarua, Meru, Murang’a, Machakos, Makueni, Kitui, Tana River and Tharaka/Nithi.
According to CoG chairman Governor Peter Munya (Meru), Principal Secretary (Agriculture) Richard Lesiyampe and Governor Kivutha Kibwana, irrigation is the way to go to ensure the country is food sufficient.
“We are making history by signing this agreement outlining the framework for engagement. This will seek counties get funds through the government and also directly,” disclosed Dr Lesiyampe.
“We are adding more irrigation schemes. We have already lost three months, but all is not lost. We have awarded contracts to some schemes worth Sh1 billion as we solved the teething problems encountered,” he explained.