Earlier this year, the Devolution ministry warned that 23 out of the 47 counties were in urgent need of food aid with about 1.6 million Kenyans facing the risk of starvation. In a country ranked as among the biggest economies in Sub Saharan Africa and privileged with a well-educated labor force; a stable financial services and information technology capabilities, peerless infrastructure growth, access to vast agricultural resources and home to some of the most innovative entrepreneurs globally, starvation should not be a common feature in our country.
The Vision 2030 Development Blueprint, Kenya’s development program designed to cover the period of 2008 to 2030, largely associated with Kenya’s infrastructural mega-projects has the solutions to the biting food insecurity .
Appropriately, the main objective of the Vision 2030 is to completely transform Kenya into a newly industrialized middle income nation that will improve quality of life of all Kenyans by 2030 in a clean secure environment.
Food security is key to the realization of Kenya’s Vision 2030. When any given country is able to adequately feed itself, it thrive in terms of growth is at a rocket speed. When a nation has food, that nation has health and a healthy nation develops.
The government of Kenya, through Vision 2030 knows that for Kenya to fully realize its visionary objective, then food security has to be emphasized. It is because of this that the government, through the National Irrigation Board has set up the enhancement of food production through irrigation.
Galana-Kulalu Food Security Project was borne out of this enthusiastic mission of making Kenya food secure. This is a project of irrigation in both arid and semi-arid areas. Areas that have traditionally been considered barren for food production. Unconventional food basket regions.
Galana-Kulalu project is in two counties; Kilifi County and Tana River County. The main target, is to improve the availability of Kenya’s staple food, Maize. This increase in supply will drive the prices down in accordance to basic economic laws.
Maize is the main stable food for many households in Kenya. This is one of the crops which is in the basket of goods that determine the rate of inflation in the country. For Kenya to achieve her potential, this commodity has to be affordable for most Kenyans. Galana-Kulalu project is all about achieving this.
The whole of Galana-Kulalu is projected to cover a total of 1.75 million acres of land. The government has its eyes set on utilizing a total of 1.2 million acres of land through irrigation.
Vision 2030 is taking shape steadily. It is happening and Galana-Kulalu project progress is evidence. The first harvest happened recently with 20,000 bags of maize harvested from 165 acres. The cost of production was less than KES 1,000 per bag about 7% less the production costs for small scale farmers.
During the harvest, the Water CS, Eugene Wamalwa, said that the state will replicate Galana-Kulalu success in other parts of the country with irrigable potential.
The identified areas are Kerio and Turkwell basin in Turkana and West Pokot County, Daua basin in Mandera, Ewaso Nyiro North in Isiolo and Marsabit, Great Bura in Tana River, Kitui, Garissa and Thwake Dam in Makueni County. This further investment will enhance the country’s irrigable acreage to half a million.
While Kenyans might not experience the impact of the scheme immediately, the progress is there. Vision 2030 inatendeka. Surely in 15 years’ time, the project will have achieved its potential and objectives.