Yala Swamp investor should keep promise


Sh20 billion Yala Swamp gets land commission nod. PHOTO | POOL

The plan to invest Sh20 billion in an agriculture project that will involve rice, fish, soya and sugarcane-growing on the reclaimed Yala Swamp on a large-scale comes as good news.

But only if it helps locals, it is not mismanaged and it is implemented within the agreed time.

Such commercial agriculture projects can be a game-changer in enhancing Kenya’s food security and also reducing poverty levels.

Lake Agro Farms says it intends to create over 2,000 direct jobs and retain over 100 local contractors and suppliers.

Hopefully, theirs are not empty promises like previous similar projects that fell short of expectations or were mismanaged like the Galana Kulalu irrigation project.

The Galana Kulalu project was unveiled in 2014 as a one-million-acre model farm, promising to significantly improve the food security situation in the country. Eight years later, nothing significant happened.

The Lake Agro Farms, which is undertaking the Yala project, is expected to reclaim the community land before reclaiming the investment parcels. Land reclamation is one of the ways Kenya can increase food production and fight economic inequality.