The National Irrigation Board is in just as big a mess as the NYS.
According to the Auditor General, billions have gone missing on irrigation projects (see page 4-5).
The Sh7.3 billion Galana project has produced just 103,000 bags of maize since it was commissioned in 2012. So each bag cost an astronomical Sh71,000.
What went wrong? There was widespread mismanagement. For instance, land was rented from the ADC at 10 times what a private developer paid.
Now the NIB wants another Sh15 billion for various irrigation projects. No! That is not a good idea with this present track record.
Irrigated farming is a good idea. Israel has done it successfully and it is helping with Galana. The problem is our parastatal mismanagement.
The Mwea rice scheme shows the way forward. The canal infrastructure is provided by the NIB but the actual growing is done by small farmers. And Mwea has sustainably provided excellent rice to Kenyans since 1969.
The state should not involve itself in farming. It should only facilitate private farmers, whether small or large.
Quote of the day:
"The resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible."
The English novelist was born on June, 2, 1840