NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture will invest in
irrigation technologies and innovations tailor-made for
smallholder farmers to boost crop yield, officials said on
Mwangi Kiunjuri, the
Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture said the government will
fast-track a shift from rain-fed to irrigated farming through
construction of water pans and provision of subsidized water
harvesting technologies to rural farmers.
farming through irrigation is progressing well and we will be
providing subsidized drip irrigation technologies to small scale
farmers to achieve the big four goal on food security,” Kiunjuri
He spoke in Nairobi
during the launch of a revitalized school feeding program
targeting arid and semi-arid regions that will be implemented by
ministries of education, health and agriculture.
Kiunjuri said the
government has prioritized expansion of acreage under irrigation
to cushion the country from food insecurity linked to climatic
“Our goal is to
reach a 50 percent target of land under irrigation by 2030 to
address perennial hunger in semi-arid parts of this country,”
“The government has
mobilized funds to provide solar powered water pumps for
small-scale farmers to enable them to irrigate land. Water pans
have been constructed in arid regions to expand acreage of farms
under irrigation,” he added.
The CS said the
governments will fast-track construction of additional mega-dams
in the arid regions to boost crop and livestock production.
“We have an
opportunity to harness flood waters in this rainy season and
preserve it in large and medium sized reservoirs for future use
in agriculture and manufacturing sectors,” said Kiunjuri.
He revealed that the
central and county governments are conducting an assessment on
losses incurred by farmers and pastoralists due to flooding
experienced in this long rain season.
The Kenya Red Cross
in its latest update says that more than 120 people have died as
a result of floods that have also wreaked havoc on farms and
Abbas Gullet, the
Secretary General, Kenya Red Cross said at a media briefing last
week that the country was likely to experience food insecurity
as raging floods wipe away key staples like maize, legumes and
vegetables in both arid and high potential regions.
investments in water harvesting and storage infrastructure to
support irrigated farming during the dry spells.