Kenya: More than 100 local and international investors have expressed interest in the Government's key flagship project - the one million acres Galana/Kulalu Food Security Project (GKFSP).

The ranch covering 1.78 million acres is located between Rivers Galana and Tana, which have adequate flow to supply water for irrigation.

Agriculture Principal Secretary Sicily Kariuki said the project to ensure a million acres have been irrigated by 2017, has seen various investors express interest.  "Over 100 investors have expressed interest in writing since last year. Some of the investors are from Malaysia, Germany, India, and Israel. They will be shortlisted once all the challenges have been dealt with," said Ms Kariuki on Wednesday.

"We are also expecting machinery for the 10,000 acres model farm to arrive in the country in three weeks from Israel." She made the remarks during a meeting organised by the National Irrigation Board (NIB) to update principal secretaries on the implementation of the project and the areas of interventions at Nairobi hotel.

Two months ago, NIB signed a Sh14.5 billion contract with an Israel firm Green Arava to undertake a 10,000 acre model farm under the project. NIB General Manager Daniel Barasa said the project faces key challenges such as insecurity, poor road networks and lack of basic amenities such as electricity, portable water, and health services and inadequate financing, and wants all key players to assist in its implementation. "The challenges we are facing requires rich input from various government authorities with a view to ensuring the project succeeds," said Eng Barasa.

He said the challenges require intervention of various ministries such as National Treasury, Energy and Petroleum, Interior and Coordination, Health and Environment. PS Kariuki  confirmed an inter-ministerial committee will soon be formed to tackle some of the challenges derailing the implementation of the project. "The committee will be announced soon and it will combine all the indicated ministries," she said.

However, despite the bottlenecks, Barasa observed that a number of initiatives have been achieved.

Mega dam

He said the project is being undertaken in phases with the first stage comprising development of a 10,000 acre model farm, development of 200,000 acre pilot farm and one mega dam. Phase three will see the implementation of the remaining recommended enterprises.

Eng Barasa observed that key achievement registered since the implementation of the mega project started last year include bush clearing of 200km, 150km graded and 87km murram. Others are the rehabilitation of Danisa and Galana River Lodge airstrips and the rehabilitation of 33 water pans of which 19 are complete with a capacity ranging from 15,000 to 120,000 cubic metres each.


Galana; Kulalu Food Security Project; Tana;