•County has invested Sh590 million in water and irrigation since start of devolution
•To improve on soil health, government has procured three soil scanners
Nyeri county will facilitate full transition from rain-fed agriculture to irrigation.
That will improve food security and mitigate the effects of global warming, Governor Mutahi Kahiga said.
He said since the onset of devolution, the county has invested Sh590 million in water and irrigation.
“And in this current budget, we have provided Sh228 million for the purpose. However, this is a drop in the ocean for the resources that are required to achieve the desired results of food security and totally eliminate hunger,”he said.
The governor spoke on Thursday at Kabiruini showground in Nyeri town where the Central Kenya national show is taking place.
“This investment has only reached 2,600 hectares against a potential of 20,620 hectares, making it only 10 per cent. So, we continue to seek support and partnership from national government and development partners so that we can move further in this noble goal.”
To improve on soil health, Kahiga said his administration has procured three soil scanners for testing the soils within the county.
This, he said, will help advice farmers on appropriate measures to take to improve soil quality.
The services are available on request at the subcounties level and every Thursday at Wambugu Agricultural Training Centre, he said.
The governor said farmers will be trained on soil sampling techniques for this purpose.
“We have, therefore, made steps to make Wambugu ATC a centre of excellence through fencing off 94 acres of land and increasing area under irrigation to four acres by expanding the irrigation infrastructure at a cost of Sh12 million,” he said.
His government, he said, is committed to support climate smart agriculture through promotion of early maturing crops, innovations, disease control and water harvesting.
Nyeri is one of the counties implementing the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP) funded by the World Bank.
In support of water harvesting, the project is currently undertaking the de-silting of two dams, Lusoi and Kamangura in Kieni East, and construction of three tanks of 225 cubic meters in Kieni West.
“Further to this, the project will continue supporting water harvesting activities in the project areas as well as supporting common interest groups to develop identified value chains to commercial levels and value addition. The support of the CIGs will be through proposal writing for acquisition of grants from the World Bank,” Kahiga said.
About 52 per cent of Nyeri land mass has been classified as arid and semi-arid.