Over 700 farmers in Nyandarua County are set to benefit from a Sh 21 million irrigation project on 260 acres of land.
Speaking while commissioning Upper Gitwe Irrigation Project in Magumu ward, Kinangop constituency in Nyandarua, the Water, Irrigation and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki encouraged farmers to put more efforts to ensure they achieve food security which is a pillar of the big four agenda.
“This project is meant to support farmers to increase their yields and also to practice high value crops.
“Hardworking residents will now be able to get one year three-cycle cropping of high value crops if water is available. Moving forward, this investment by the National Government will benefit farmers to make an average of Sh 300,000 per year per farmer,” said the CS.
“We shall facilitate farmers in terms of capacity building and introduction of high value alternative crops so that they can have diversification on their land and that’s why today as a start, I have also distributed avocado seedlings to help intercrop them with these short time high value horticultural crops,” said Kariuki.
She added that, the government was ready to train the farmers on various modern farming practices that will enable them achieve maximum benefit.
Susan Ruguru Mureithi, a resident, said she was happy that the project they had been waiting for long was finally in place.
“We used to fetch water on our backs to irrigate our crops hence we could do very little but now because of this project we shall start practicing horticulture on bigger parcels of land and make a lot of money because our water problem has been solved,” she said.
“We are close to Nairobi and with this project we shall be able to feed a lot of Nairobi people. We shall now practice agribusiness. I will now expand my small piece of land and do irrigation on all of my land,” said Ruguru.
Patrick Mbugua, a resident and also a local irrigation committee member expressed his satisfaction to the government for providing them with water for farming.
“We have had a lot of challenges with farming. We have been relying on rain for a long time. We have been planting during the same time and we end up meeting at the market at the same time and with similar produce which drops the demand because of excessive supply, leading to low prices,” he explained.
“But now we shall be doing rotational farming thus every person will be taking their produce to the market at different times. I want to thank the President for remembering us with this project,” said Mbugua
The project comprises one pump house, solar pumping unit for 28litres per second, solar panels, storage tanks and distribution lines.
In Nyandarua County there are 11 ongoing water projects with seven already completed.
In total the National Government has in the last one year allocated Sh 1.2 billion in irrigation projects alone in Nyandarua County.
By Antony Mwangi