The State plans to conduct a research aim to empower farmers who grow food crops under a Sh6 billion irrigation project in Homa Bay
The government is planning to conduct research with the aim of empowering farmers growing food crops at the Oluch Kimira irrigation project in Homa Bay.
The research is aimed at identifying the most suitable food crops which can grow under the Sh6 billion irrigation scheme. The project is dubbed Kimira Oluch Smallholder Farmer Improvement Project.
The irrigation project is done in Karachuonyo and Rangwe constituencies.
East African Community and Regional Development PS Margaret Mwakima said the research will enable the government to undertake value addition.
“What we are planning as the government is to identify a food crop most suitable for propagation in this project covered area,” Mwakima said on Tuesday touring a tour of the scheme.
The research will be conducted by agronomists operating under the project implementation area.
Mwakima said the government will use the research results to introduce a crop processing plant and storage facility to minimise losses.
“This will enable us to negotiate for prices so that farmers can maximise benefits from their sweat,” she said.
Farmers under the project are already being registered with micro-financial institutions from which they can get loans, she said.
“Accessing funds for crop production is a challenge to most farmers. The government will make the farmers more active by linking them with micro-financial institutions which can give loans at affordable interests,” Mwakima said.
Lake Basin Development Authority MD Raymond Omollo urged the farmers to maximise utilization of the project.
“Let the more than 3,000 farmers convince the government that there is a reason to implement this project here. We want to see crop production that transforms livelihoods,” Omollo said.
Homa Bay agriculture executive Ajuko Juma said there was need for farmers to increase utilization of the irrigation water.
“The project is 90 per cent complete but farmers have not exhausted it. They should pull up their socks," Juma said.
KOSFIP project manager Nelson Korir said the irrigation project covers 1474 acres of farmland in both Rangwe and Karachuonyo constituencies.
Edited by Peter Obuya