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Pokot farmers want irrigation scheme expanded to boost food production

By Irissheel Shanzu | May 23rd 2016

WEST POKOT, KENYA: Farmers from Wei Wei Irrigation Scheme in West Pokot County have called for the expansion of scheme to boost food production and reduce over reliance on relief food.
The   farmers want the National Government to allocate more funds to the project which serves the residents as the only source of livelihood.
They said there is need to start the Phase Three of the project to help address food insecurity in the semi-arid region.
The project which has only Two Phases can no longer support all the farmers and residents want the Government to roll out the next phase to increase production
most residents of West Pokot County have been relying on relief food because of food and water shortage following drought being experienced in the   semi-arid region.
Samuel Lokomol, a farmer at the irrigation scheme, said they are forced to do rotational farming to give all members a chance to share the land.
"We were given two and a half acres of land but we do it rotationally and we need to use the land for a longer period for us to benefit, “said Lokomol.
According to farmers the area has big potential for agriculture but lack of funds has affected the project. They also complained about delays in payments after selling their produce.
The farmers called on the Government to renovate water pipes to improve the volume of water in the farms as they are experiencing low pressure.
West Pokot County Governor, Simon Kachapin said the County Government had pumped in Sh 5 million to revive the project.
He called on other donors to assist the farmers increase production and tackle insecurity in the region.

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