KVDA spends Kshs 300 million on irrigation projects to boost food security

The projects are also aimed at encouraging diversification from cattle rearing in the region

The Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) has spent Kshs 300 million on irrigation projects to boost food security in the drought prone Kerio valley region.

The authority is setting up four irrigation schemes in line with the government’s agenda on food security-Weiwei irrigation scheme and Lomut irrigation scheme in West Pokot County and Chepkuk and Kamusuwet in Elgeyo Marakwet County to promote food security.

KVDA managing Director Sammy Naporos who was accompanied by the authority’s board of management while inspecting projects in  Turkana, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo Counties said the initiative is part of efforts to enhance food production in areas vulnerable to drought and improve livelihoods in the region.

Speaking at Kamusuwet irrigation project, the MD noted that the project covers a total of 130 acres with 150 farmers benefiting.

“Kamusuwet irrigation scheme, for sorghum, just like Wei wei irrigation scheme for the maize project in Central Pokot and  Marakwet West sub counties are now promising,” said Naporos.

He said that the farmers at the Kamusuwet scheme are expecting a bumper return of around Kshs 6 million.

He said the irrigation scheme is among other projects aimed at encouraging the pastoralists to diversify by growing cash crops instead of relying on livestock rearing.

“We are determined to ensure that the projects funded by the national government and donor countries are fully implemented,” he added. 

KVDA board Chairperson Jackson Kiptanui said the authority would also equip locals with modern farming methods to ensure the area becomes a food secure zone adding that the project will go on as planned.

The Chairperson said that they will increase acreage under irrigation to move the country away from dependence on rain for farming.

He said that Kamusumet irrigation scheme farmers will be taken for an exposure tour to Weiwei to gain more knowledge.

“Farmers have embraced irrigation and they want to plant more crops,” he added.

A farmer, Mr. Daniel Suter said Kamusuwet said the ongoing initiatives will also help to end the rampant cases of cattle rustling in the region, which has significantly contributed to slow development.