, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 31 – The first 10,000-acre model maize farm in the Galana-Kulalu food security project will be handed over to the private sector by March.
According to the outgoing Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, preparations are also underway to have a second 10,000-acre model farm developed starting from the second quarter of the year.
“We’re at the tail-end of concluding the first phase of the project which is a model farm of 10,000 acres. We have equipment delivered and we’re laying the infrastructure which will be completed within a month,” Wamalwa said on Wednesday.
“The next 10,000 acres which are also under development will also be handed over to the private sector,” he added.
Wamalwa, who spoke at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation headquarters when he handed over the State Department for Irrigation to the newly nominated Agriculture and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary, Mwangi Kiunjuri, said some 400,000 acres will be put under irrigation after the construction of a Sh2 billion Galana dam.
In his remarks during the handover, CS Kiunjuri pledged to work closely with ministry officials to ensure maximum delivery of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s promise of attaining food security in the nation.
“We have a manifesto that we have to work on. I want to assure you that there will be consultation and teamwork to achieve what President Kenyatta has set out to accomplish,” said Kiunjuri.
While reorganizing his administration last week, President Kenyatta moved the Irrigation docket from the Water Ministry to the Agriculture Ministry.
The Head of State picked Simon Chelugui as his preferred Cabinet Secretary to head the Ministry of Water and Sanitation.
Wamalwa was moved to the Ministry of Devolution which was previously headed by Kiunjuri, with an added portfolio of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands.
The government targets to put about 1.2 million acres of the Galana-Kulalu ranch under irrigation.
The ranch which is estimated to be 1.7 million acres is located between Rivers Galana and Tana in the counties of Kilifi and Tana River.