The National Irrigation Authority (NIA) is seeking KSh7.5 billion to rehabilitate existing schemes and put new land estimated at more than 700,000 acres, under irrigation.
This financing arrangement is to be undertaken through a public private partnership (PPP) arrangement.
The Authority is targeting lower Nzoia, Mwea, Bura and Perkerra Irrigation Schemes for rehabilitation and expansion, so as to put an additional 89,000 acres on irrigation under this plan.
It will also increase community-based smallholder projects acreage from
the current 256,000 acres to 390,000 acres.
Irrigation Secretary, Aboud Moeva, says part of the budget will be raised by farmers through a public private partnership to ensure the plan is timely and sustainable.
The Authority will finance rehabilitation of dams, construction of water pans and water harvesting across the country. It will also construct 125,000 water pans.
Some of the irrigation achievements the National Irrigation Board (NIB) has achieved are the continued operation of the seven public schemes, Economic Stimulus Programme, Expanded National Irrigation Programme as well as the Household Irrigation Water Storage programme.
This fresh cash appeal by NIA follows the signing into
law of the Irrigation Bill 2019 by President Uhuru Kenyatta in August 2019.
The Irrigation Act intends to support sustainable food production by outlining the roles of national and county governments in facilitating irrigation activities in the country.
The Act has already seen the previous National Irrigation
Board transit into an Authority, with redefined roles and responsibilities.
The Authority has, among others duties, the role of developing and improving irrigation infrastructure for all national or public schemes.
NIA also oversees management of existing and new
national or public schemes, except those under county governments, and
particularly storage dams, intakes, main and secondary systems as necessary
The coming into force of the Act tasks NIB with more responsibilities that will also see realization of the Big 4 Agenda on food security and nutrition.