Since 1902

County to turn 300-acre swamp into rice farm

By Standard Digital - July 7th 2022

Homa Bay Agriculture Executive Aguko Juma launching the irrigation project at Kital village, Rachuonyo. [James Omoro, Standard]

Rice production is expected to improve in Homa Bay after the county government initiated a Sh7.2 billion irrigation project on 300-acre swamp in Central Karachuonyo in Rachuonyo North sub-County swamp. The swamp has been fallow for more than 60 years.

Jared Ogembo, a representative of farmers in the area, said the swamp and its vegetation had no economic value.

“The grass here has no use because even cattle don’t feed on it. This land has had no economic benefit to us,” said Ogembo.

But the department of agriculture is now turning the land into a rice farm through  Kimira Oluch Smallholder Farm Improvement Project (KOSFIP).

Homa Bay County Agriculture Executive Aguko Juma flagged off a tractor that began tilling the land at Kital village to empower farmers to propagate rice in the swamp. Each of the 600 farmers in the project will be allocated half an acre of land and provided with subsidized seed.

“We have already made arrangements with the Kenya Seed Company to deliver the seeds before December,” said Juma.

He urged youths to embrace the irrigation project and engage in farming instead of following politicians around during the electioneering period.

“Let youths embrace agriculture. This project can make them millionaires,” Juma said.

Farmers expressed optimism that the initiative would enhance food security in the area.

Kimira Water Users Association chairman George Aoko expressed said they had suffering from food shortage yet the 300 acres of land lay fallow.

“We are glad that we are starting an initiative of turning this grass into food,” Aoko said.

Nyabon Enterprises Ltd Chief Executive Officer David Osamba whose organisation will be offering mechanization services said they will be ploughing land for farmers on credit at a low cost.

“Farmers will pay the cost of tiling the land after harvest to enable everybody to grow rice,” Osamba said.

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