Completion of a million-acre project at the Galana-Kulalu irrigation scheme has stalled for lack of Sh600 million.
Outgoing Water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui says 85 percent of the 10,000 model farm has so far been done but lack of resources has prevented the first phase from completion.
Mr Chelugui said 7,000 acres have been cultivated to date with 3,000 acres put under crop last year. The model farm is a pilot project that will guide the rolling out of the entire million-acre scheme.
“The progress has been good but because of lack of resources, we were unable to complete the model farm,” said Mr Chelugui.
“We have requested for Sh600 million from the Treasury to help us revive the project in order to achieve the intended objectives. Sourcing of funds is part of a bigger strategy to mobilise more resources in order to produce more food to feed the growing population.”
Mr Chelugui, who was speaking yesterday during the handover ceremony of the docket to Sicily Kariuki, called on his counterpart to restructure the management of the project through privatisation in order to make it productive.
“I urge my colleague here to look into ways of changing the management of the scheme by privatising it to get more value out of it,” said the CS.
The initial plan by the government was to open up the entire project to private sector after completion. However, the process stalled after the tender that had been floated a while back was cancelled about three years ago.
The new Water and Irrigation CS said she will pick the project from where her counterpart left.
“I will have to look at the plans that had been put in place then I will pick it up from there,” said Ms Kariuki.