Kenya will soon reap the benefits of the ambitious Galana-Kulalu food security project after the implementation process to realise full production nears completion.
The National Irrigation Authority (NIA) is finalising the setting up of key irrigation infrastructure on the farm as production in the completed zones continues.
Currently at 90 percent completion, the project is poised to increase agricultural productivity and impact a trickle effect by lowering the cost of living, and creating employment for the local community.
During an inspection visit by the County Implementation, Coordination and Management Committee (CICMC), the committee chairman Samuel Mutisya said through improved agricultural production, 20 million bags of maize are expected to be produced annually.
“We have realised that good work is being done at Galana Kulalu Food Security project. They have promised that with the full maximisation of the project, and if the full 20,000 acres come into full production, the country will be able to produce 20 million bags of maize in a year from this project,” he explained.
Currently, 10,000 acres are used as a model farm. The Head of State issued an edict when he toured the coastal region for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) on the farm to help with the production process.
“This project is being run using the government’s program known as PPP, where a private partner has been brought on board. The National Irrigation Authority is carrying out the irrigation work but for production purposes, and to increase output, Twiga Feeds has come in to partner such that it oversees the production process,” the chairman said.
Director of Delivery and Secretary of the Kilifi County Implementation and Coordination Management Committee (CICMC) Sherry Litunya said that Twiga Foods is being transitioned to take over the 10,000-acre model farm on site. They are harvesting the maize they planted with the help of NIA.
Litunya added that there was also a directive for the project to be connected to the national grid by the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC).
“REREC has received a budget for this and they should start work this month. It’s good to note that 60 percent of works in Galana kulalu involves pumping of water hence the importance of having power at the project,” said Litunya.
Plans are underway by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to relocate wildlife in the project area, Galana borders the Tsavo National Park.
A contractor is on-site to construct a bridge at the river Galana to ease the transportation of farm produce, equipment, and farm inputs.
By Jackson Msanzu and Sadik Hassan