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Government rolling out a Sh. 7.7 billion Irrigation Project to end reliance on relief food.

Principal Secretary, State Department of Planning & Statistics Irungu Nyakera addressing residents of Murang'a town where he was distributing relief food. 
Principal Secretary, State Department of Planning & Statistics Irungu Nyakera has appealed for patience among Kenyans towards the Galana/Kulalu food security project being undertaken by the government in Tana River.

Speaking in Murang'a town where he was distributing relief food, Nyakera argued that such projects required some time for their impact to be felt on the ground. He defended the project against criticism by a section of Kenyans who termed it a white elephant saying that it was a highly profitable and realistic project whose returns would see the government save an average of Sh15 billion annually from imports on maize among other food items.

He added that agriculture was the second most important project of the economic pillar of Vision 2030 after tourism.

“This project by design is large, complex and transformational. A project of this size does not happen in a day, so basing on what we have seen it proves the government can deliver. The Galana project is very big and the current results are good. Even with this project it will only take time to see better results,” he said.

The PS announced that the plans were at an advanced stage to put up a Sh. 7.7 billion irrigation project in Murang’a County that will mainly specialise in rice and onion farming.

According to Nyakera, sh. 6 billion will be set aside for employment opportunities with area residents being the biggest beneficiaries. He expressed confidence that the project will end reliance on relief food for over 5,000 poor families who will benefit from government efforts to boost food security in the semi-arid areas of Murang'a County.

He added that the project had already passed the feasibility stage.

“As we distribute relief food, the government is aware that people want to be empowered to farm. 

The government is committed to fighting drought and hunger that has affected more than 3 million Kenyans. This project will not only feed Murang'a but its neighbouring counties,” he said.

The scheme will cover 15,000 acres in the lower parts of the county among the Kambiti, Gikindu and Makuyu areas. Already the government has rolled a smaller irrigation project covering 200 acres in Maragua and Mathioya constituencies.

“We have already mapped up the areas that the project will cover and we are in the process of redirecting water,” he said. 

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