, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 17 – The National Assembly’s Agriculture Committee has suspended a contract for the development of a 10,000 acre model farm in Galana-Kulalu issued to Green Arava Company.
The committee chairman Adan Mohammed said nothing tangible had been done despite the fact that government was expected to cough up Sh3.5 billion for the project whose total cost is 14.2 billion.
“We have suspended the contract with immediate effect until it is proved beyond reasonable doubt that all processes have been followed,” he stated.
Mohammed said the remaining Sh11 billion which was to be contributed by the Israeli government through a grant was yet to be made available.
The committee during its probe also discovered that Agri-Green Consultancy of Israel, the consultant of the project and which was paid Sh920 million, was also the contractor as the company (Green Arava) awarded the contract for development interestingly through single-sourcing was the parent company of Agri-Green Consultancy of Israel.
The tendering was in breach of both the Constitution and the Public Procurement ad Disposal Act which states that there must be competitiveness, openness and transparency in procurement of all projects especially those that cost large sums of money.
Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi who is a member of the committee said Kenyans were staring at a scandal orchestrated by person(s) keen on fleecing the country.
He said: “It is a scheme to reap public funds for personal benefit”.
The committee is now waiting for the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries to furnish it with contract documents before it can make a decision on whether the project will be completely suspended.
For it to be absolutely suspended the committee will have to table a report in Parliament proposing the suspension and if it is adopted then the project is off and it’s back to the drawing board.
The plan was to upgrade the 10,000 acre model farm to 100,000 acres in the second phase then the third-phase which would be completed by 2017 comprising one-million-acre and costing Sh400 billion.
The project hopes to have 500,000 acres of land under maize production, 200,000 acres under sugarcane farming, 150,000 acres set aside for beef and game animals, 50,000 acres under horticulture, 50,000 acres for dairy farming and the remaining 50,000 acres to grow fruits.