M a r k e t N e w s

Kenya: New Thiba Dam to Boost Rice Farming

Posted on : Tuesday, 21st October 2014

A Sh13 billion mega dam is to be built on Thiba River in Gichugu constituency to boost rice farming in the Mwea Irrigation Scheme.
The project, which is funded by the Japanese Government, will be undertaken by the National Irrigation Board to end the water shortage at the irrigation scheme and boost food production.
The scheme has been facing various challenges, including inadequate water for irrigation, poor infrastructure and lack of machinery, Deputy Governor Julius Njiiri said Tuesday.
The irrigation board, he added, was tackling the challenges.
The expansion of the irrigation scheme was among the measures the government was taking to increase rice production.
“The government has increased the land under rice farming at the Mwea Irrigation Scheme from 24,000 acres to 48,000 acres.”
Families occupying the land to be used for the expansion of the project, he said, were being compensated.
Mr Njiiri said the construction would begin in January, and be completed by June 2016.
“Once completed, the scheme under rice is expected to increase the annual sales from Sh2.5 billion to Sh5 billion.”
The irrigation board has hired a consultant to review the design and supervise the work.
The reservoir would enable the region to double rice production and earn more revenue, he said.
It would also boost the production of other cash crops, including maize and vegetables.
The board is also rehabilitating the scheme and improving its infrastructure in a Sh540 million project funded by the World Bank.
Kirinyaga is one of the key farming counties in the Mt Kenya region.
Besides rice, the county produces tomatoes and French beans for export.

Source : www.mobile.nation.co.ke
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