Kenya set to expand Ahero Irrigation Scheme by an additional 2,500 acresDevdiscourse News Desk | Nairobi | Updated: 06-10-2020 12:40 IST | Created: 06-10-2020 12:40 IST
The expansion to be done by the National Irrigation Authority will see the government pump in Sh80 million as it targets to open up area under rain-fed and irrigated rice.
The project is expected to produce 11,000 metric tonnes of rice annually valued at over Sh500 million.
West Kenya Irrigation Schemes Manager Joel Tanui indicated that this will be a big boost to the scheme which was operationalized in 1969 and has grown over the years to cover 13,000 acres of land. At least 7,000 farmers have benefitted from the project.
"We are looking to bring in farmers from Mbega and Kobong'o schemes within the larger Kano Plains in a project which is also expected to alleviate the perennial floods that have hit the region," he said.
The situation has been made worse by the backflow of water from Lake Victoria for close to a year now. Over the years, he pointed out, Ahero Irrigation Scheme has seen an increase in the need for expansion.
"The ongoing expansion has created more jobs to locals who now take up jobs like weeding, planting, and harvesting," Tanui stated, adding that the project will rope in 2,500 more farmers.
Tanui noted that the project will enable farmers to increase their output per acre and reduce their unit cost of production.
Philemon Amai, who has diversified into horticultural and sugarcane farming from Kobong'o scheme, is hoping to get good returns from his four-acre piece of land.