NYS to lease Galana Kulalu land in bid to revive irrigation project
SEE ALSO :Curtain falls on ex-NYS woman of steel“In addition, the Government is in the process of improving infrastructure at the Athi River textile hub, Kinanie Leather Park, KIRDI Kisumu, South B branches and Rivatex.” The project will serve as the first large-scale deployment of new genetically modified (GM) cotton varieties in Kenya such as Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) Cotton, recently approved by the Government for commercial use. In 2013, the Government proposed Galana Kulalu as a 1.2-million-acre irrigation project that would churn out 20 million bags of maize each year. This would have made it the largest irrigation farm in East and Central Africa, eradicating the country’s food security challenges and making Kenya a major food exporter. The project, situated in Kilifi and Tana River counties on land owned by the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), however appeared doomed from the start.
Encouraging results“Results of between 30 to 39 bags per acre per season for maize are positive and encouraging. We would like to assure Kenyans that Galana project will lower the price of unga to below Sh84 per two kilogrammes,” he said. Last year, National Cereals and Produce Board acting Managing Director Alvin Sang told a parliamentary inquiry that the Government only received 22,000 bags of maize valued at less than Sh35 million based on market prices at the time. The under-performance of Galana Kulalu despite the billions spent on boosting production further cast the light on the country’s perennial maize scandals, attributed to hoarding and the desire by well-connected people to make a quick shilling through cheaper imports. In March 2017, Mr Rotich waived import duty on white maize in a bid to bring down the price of flour, which was retailing at Sh155 for a two-kilogramme packet.
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