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CoG to Collaborate with Counties to Ensure Food Security

The Council of Governors (CoG) has said their main goal is to ensure the Bottom Up Economic Transformational Agenda (BETA) goals are achieved.

The CoG Chief Executive Officer Mary Mwiti who’s also a board member National Irrigation Authority (NIA) while speaking from Mwea Irrigation Scheme said they will collaborate with state agencies to understand the architecture, the County Integrated Development Plans and budget prepositions towards achieving BETA.

She singled out the Mwea Irrigation Scheme in Mwea, where there was already an existing collaborative framework between the County and NIA in rice production and day-to-day running of activities in the entire scheme.

“One thing we fundamentally need to understand is that we are working towards one goal which is the greater agenda of BETA, President William Ruto’s agenda, in terms of the use of arable land to achieve food security. In so doing, we are cooperating with such agencies like NIA to understand how better it can be done,” Mwiti said.

NIA’s newly constituted board was on a familiarization tour in Thiba Dam and Mwea Irrigation Scheme led by Chairperson Eng. Gilbert Maluki and all other board members.

Eng. Maluki said the infrastructure put in by NIA is commendable and the progress of the entire scheme is in the right direction.

He added that the main agenda of the NIA is to reduce the rice deficit currently existing in the Country.

The chairperson revealed that the upgrading of the first phase of canals covering an additional 5,000 acres is at a 64% completion stage, with all others set to be completed by December to cover a maximum of 10,000 acres.

“We appreciate the infrastructure in Mwea being undertaken by the irrigation authority. The farmers have embarked on farming and the whole idea is to reduce the rice deficit. We are at 64% in construction of canals in 5000 acres and by December would have completed the task,” the Chair said.

Laban Kiplagat, a board member, said Kenya is known as an agricultural Country but it is a shame sometimes to see people suffering from hunger.

He noted the government is putting up measures to ensure the production of enough food, especially in ensuring sufficient provision of water for irrigation through NIA and subsidized fertilizer.

On pests and disease control, the board will cooperate with the Ministry of Agriculture to develop effective pesticides. In addition, the research on controlling invasive apple snails and quelea birds is in top gear.

By Mutai Kipngetich

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