Hope for Isiolo farmers as Sh381m irrigation project nears completion

Ongoing works at the Game Galana irrigation project in Isiolo on August 14, 2020.

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • CAS Karanja ays the irrigation scheme will make the region food secure, improve the livelihoods of locals and do away with dependency on rain-fed agriculture.

Burat is set to become the breadbasket of Isiolo County as the Sh381 million Game Galana irrigation project funded by the national government nears completion.

The project, which is expected to benefit over 500 farmers, will be completed in the next two months, officials said.

Speaking when he visited the site with Micro and Small Enterprise CEO Henry Rithaa, Trade CAS Lawrence Karanja said the project is 98 percent complete.

He added that the irrigation scheme will make the region food secure, improve the livelihoods of locals and do away with dependency on rain-fed agriculture.

The project’s dam reservoirs have the capacity to hold two million litres of storm water for use by the farmers when drought strikes.

While reiterating the government’s commitment towards supporting farmers increase their productivity, Mr Karanja appealed to Isiolo residents to consider farming as a source of livelihood.

“The project, that will tap storm water, will help eradicate poverty and enhance food security in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda,” said Mr Karanja.

The project chairman Abdirashid Dida said the scheme requires proper management for sustainability so that it benefits as many farmers as possible.

He lamented that locally produced tomatoes were going to waste and appealed to government to provide farmers with processing machines.

“The processing machines will reduce the loss tomato farmers incur and also help improve prices for their produce,” he said.

Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti said his administration will continue supporting farmers through trainings and finding better markets for their produce.

“Our people must also consider doing farming alongside livestock rearing for increased productivity,” said County Trade executive Halima Abgudo, who represented Mr Kuti.

The CAS said the government will assist farmers at the area who plant fruits and vegetables process their produce for realisation of better profits.