Food shortages in Gatundu North Sub County will be a thing of the past after the commissioning of a Sh111 million irrigation project by the Kiambu County government.
The Kamwamba Irrigation project, which will cover 84 hectares, will benefit 4,000 households covering 11 villages in Gituamba, Chania and Mang’u wards.
It will involve channeling water through pipes from Githobokoni river into local farms and ensuring farmers grow bananas for both the local market and for export, among other crops.
The project, funded by the national government and the World Bank and implemented by the National Agricultural Rural Inclusive Growth project will be completed by June next year.
Kiambu Governor James Nyoro while commissioning the project, said focus will be on planting bananas as the area is favourable for their growth.
He said in a couple of years, the Sub County will be a banana basket enough to feed several parts of the country and improve the living standards of the residents.
The governor said farmers will also be encouraged to intercrop so as to complement banana proceeds, thereby giving the farmers better income to drive out poverty in the region.
He said the county government will provide farmers with new varieties of bananas that are good for export.
“We have a ready market for bananas, especially special varieties in South Korea. Our focus will be to provide farmers with high yielding varieties. We have a big market locally and internationally,” said Nyoro.
The governor noted that the life changing project will benefit 11,000 people indirectly through trade adding that they will train local youth on banana trade.
He added that they will be forced to start banana value addition in order to earn better prices.
The project had been started in 2018, but collapsed due to a myriad of challenges, but Nyoro said they have enough funds to complete the project.
“We cannot underscore the importance of this project being a life changer. We have the funds to ensure it doesn’t collapse this time. In a few years, the Sub County will be a food basket and locals will be earning huge from farming,” said Nyoro.
By Muoki Charles