In Summary
  • The one million-acre farm, belonging to the agriculture Developed Corporation (ADC) will have 500,000 acres put under maize production and 200,000 acres under sugarcane, while 150,000 acres will be used to keep beef cattle, game animals and fish ponds among other ventures.
  • Feasibility studies were done by a consortium involving Agri Green, a firm from Israel, Amiran Kenya and Environ Plan, at a cost of Sh3.2 billion.
  • The project will be developed through public-private partnerships, with the government putting up the basic infrastructure.

President Uhuru Kenyatta will today officially launch the planned irrigation of 1 million acres at Galana/Kulalu as the country steps up the fight against food insecurity.

The scheme is among the Jubilee Government’s flagship projects and is aimed at improving food security by breaking away from rain-reliant farming while creating more employment opportunities for the youth.

Galana/Kulalu is the largest such scheme in East and Central Africa and one that, if successful, will achieve what the government had planned to do in 13 years under the Vision 2030.

“The Government aims at making its programme to irrigate one million acres of land become a reality,” said a statement from the president’s office.

The one million-acre farm, belonging to the agriculture Developed Corporation (ADC) will have 500,000 acres put under maize production and 200,000 acres under sugarcane, while 150,000 acres will be used to keep beef cattle, game animals and fish ponds among other ventures.

Agriculture secretary Felix Koskei said the Sh250 billion project would double maize production and turn the country from a food importer to a net exporter after five years, when the project is expected to be completed.

“Feasibility studies have revealed there are good soils and enough water to make the project successful.” he said yesterday at a press conference at his Kilimo House office.

Feasibility studies were done by a consortium involving Agri Green, a firm from Israel, Amiran Kenya and Environ Plan, at a cost of Sh3.2 billion.

The Agriculture cabinet secretary said the ambitious project is being funded by the government but also hinted at a possibility of bringing external financiers on board.

“For now it is purely government-funded until a financier comes on board,” he said.

Leasing of parcels of land in the project started in December after the government put out advertisements calling on companies that would wish to be allocated land to submit tender bids. The closing date was January 7, 2014.

The project will be developed through public-private partnerships, with the government putting up the basic infrastructure.

“The government shall lay the basic irrigation infrastructure including roads,dams, airstrips and link it to the LAPSSET corridor,” Mr Koskei said.

Chosen firms will then have to expand the government’s irrigation and transport infrastructure to their allotted parcels of land.

They are also expected to build access roads to their allotted land, as well as water delivery systems that will be fed by the government-constructed storage reservoir.

Mr Koskei could not reveal the cost of leasing the parcels of land but said the government shall ensure it is affordable so as to stabilize the prices of food from the project.