Contractor given more time to finish Galana model farm

A tractor at the Galana-Kulalu project in Tana River County. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A tractor at the Galana-Kulalu project in Tana River County. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Green Arava, the Israeli company contracted to build the Sh7.2 billion Galana-Kulalu food security project, has received the last extension to complete a model farm.

Eugene Wamalwa, Water and Irrigation secretary, told Parliament that the firm has only completed 5,000 acres out of the 10,000 acre model farm.

“Part of conditions we have put is that this is the last extension to be granted to the Israeli company,” Mr Wamalwa told the National Assembly’s Agriculture committee without giving specific timelines on when Green Arava is set to complete the entire model farm.

He told the Mohammed Noor-led committee that a team sent to Israel to ascertain the specifications of the equipment for the second phase of the model had approved the shipment, which is expected to arrive in Galana by end of this month.

The equipment that include water pumps will complete the second intake in supplying water to the remaining 5,000 acres.

The ministry, Mr Wamalwa said, is ready to open up 400,000 acres to the private sector adding that a public notice inviting interested investors has been issued.

The Galana project is expected to cut Kenya’s reliance on rain-fed agriculture that is blamed for the perennial food shortage, by employing the latest technology to reduce the cost of food production and boost yields. 

The model farm is being used as a demonstration block for developing the entire one million acres set aside for irrigation.