Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has said the Galana Kulalu Irrigation scheme is now ready for opening up to private investors for large scale production, becoming the latest high ranking government official to endorse the project.
Mr Munya said that he was so far impressed with the progress of the work done at the scheme in the first phase of the model farm, which was to cover 10,000 acres.
“The project is now ready for the next phase of opening it up to private investors after having successfully realised the objectives of the pilot phase as the government strives to achieve the Big4 agenda targets,” said Mr Munya.
Mr Munya said the government will not engage in the business of farming and that the project will be left in the hands of private entities.
Mr Munya’s remarks comes at a time when the National Development Implementation Technical Committee (NDITC) chaired by Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho is to present a report to the Cabinet committee on the viability of the project.
“We are happy with what we have seen here and we shall be making a report to the Cabinet committee so that Galana Project can get the Sh600 million that they have requested in to complete the model firm,” said Dr Kibicho last month.
Galana project has faced a number of challenges that has seen it lag the initial timelines. The National Irrigation Authority that is in charge of the project, fell out with the Israel contractor Green Arava over payments leading to the termination of its contract.
The latest endorsement of a project that has widely been labelled as a failure, comes three months after the parliamentary committee on water said it would approve more funds for the project.
Galana project was supposed to have been opened up for large scale production by now as the model farm, which is a demonstration block that covers 10,000 acres was to be completed by 2018. About 7,000 acres have been cultivated to date with 3,000 acres put under crop last year.