Ephantus Kimotho, the Principal Secretary for Irrigation, has projected that the Lower Nzoia irrigation project will inject over 5 billion Kenyan Shillings into the economy once fully operational. This significant investment is expected to have a transformative impact on the agricultural landscape of Siaya and Busia Counties.

Kimotho highlighted that the ambitious project, nearing completion, aims to cultivate 10,000 acres of land for rice production, which will contribute significantly to reducing the national rice deficit. The project is anticipated to produce an impressive 56,000 metric tonnes of rice, addressing a substantial portion of the country’s current deficit of 700,000 metric tonnes.

During a visit to Siaya Town, Kimotho, accompanied by Trade Principal Secretary Alfred Kombudo and World Bank officials, emphasized the importance of establishing essential support services for farmers. He called upon the County Government of Siaya to establish a dedicated irrigation development unit to provide crucial assistance to farmers involved in the project.

Alfred Kombudo, the Principal Secretary for Trade, echoed Kimotho’s sentiments, emphasizing the Ministry’s commitment to ensuring favorable market conditions for farmers. Kombudo outlined plans to enhance market mechanisms, improve storage facilities, and strengthen connections to markets through commodities exchange and warehouse receipt systems to benefit farmers engaging in rice and high-value crop production.

Siaya Governor, James Orengo, commended the National Government for its dedication to completing the Lower Nzoia irrigation project. He underscored the project’s significance, noting its substantial contribution to the region’s agricultural sector and economic growth. Governor Orengo expressed his government’s support for initiatives aimed at expanding rice production, citing the construction of a rice mill in Usonga Ward as a testament to their commitment.

Looking ahead, Governor Orengo expressed optimism about the project’s future phases, anticipating the commencement of the second phase once the first phase concludes early next year. The Lower Nzoia irrigation project stands poised to drive agricultural development, enhance food security, and stimulate economic prosperity in the region.

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