Farmers in Nyeri’s Riamukurwe Sub-County expect to earn Sh308 million annually from agriculture after the completion of the first public irrigation scheme in the region.
The Sh290 million Riamukurwe scheme’s last phase has been completed by the National Irrigation Board (NIB) after eight years. The project, according to Water and Irrigation Principal Secretary Joseph Irungu, will benefit 2,000 farmers in that region.
“This is an initiative that will impact positively on farmers in this region, who will now have sufficient water to irrigate their crops and make the most out of it in terms of revenue,” said Mr Irungu. According to NIB, farmers will utilise the irrigation scheme to grow horticultural crops such as tomatoes, onions and cabbage with expected returns of approximately 350,000 per acre in a year.
“Based on soil suitability and farmer selection, the selected enterprise, which includes cabbages, onions and tomatoes, is expected to earn growers Sh350,000 per acre in a season,” said NIB.
Mr Irungu said the government was keen on expanding the irrigation schemes across the county. Agriculture experts have blamed the country’s food insufficiency on overreliance on rain- fed agriculture, and erratic weather pattern in the recent years, as a result of climate change.
Mr Irungu says the expansion of the irrigation project is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta big four agenda on food security.