Over 2000 rice farmers from Alung’o and Asunda schemes are set to access adequate water supply from river Abwao intake after the completion of the lining of the supply canal, this financial year, in a bid to boost food security in the County.
Currently, the farmers hardly receive water for irrigation since those who donated land for the construction of the supply canals have since blocked the water ways stating that the current status of the canal causes flooding in their shambas causing loose soils to be washed away hence affecting their crops.
It is in the light of this that the CEC Member, for Agriculture, irrigation Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Gilchrist Okuom and the area MCA, Hon. Vitalis Otura toured the region to affirm the plan to have the project fully completed before the next planting season.
The area MCA however requested those who donated land where the canals were constructed, to take into consideration the plight of other farmers by allowing them to access the supply in the meantime as plans are underway to have the project completed soon. He also confirmed that the allocation for the completion of the weir was factored in the 2019/2020 budget
The Muhoroni sub county agricultural officer, Mr Athur Hongo who addressed the farmers said that after mapping of the schemes, about 480 farmers from Alung’o scheme will get farm inputs such as rice seeds that will cover 125 acres and also 100 of them will receive top dressing fertilizers. This will boost rice farming in the region.
While addressing the farmers, the CEC Member, Mr Okuom stated that rice is one of the flagship projects on matters food security and economic empowerment. He added that he was concerned about the challenges of water supply that has hindered expansion of rice fields, high cost of production due to pumping using electricity, recycling of seeds and lack of adequate farm inputs and promised his support on the same.
He urged the farmers to adopt new methods of farming that will increase the yields and advised them to diversify crops such as soya beans, cotton and yams since ombeyi has the biggest potential for yams production. He also discouraged them from planting at different times and urged to build strong cooperatives that will help them control market prices.
In regards to those who had their crops destroyed during construction, the Minister said they will discuss and agree on Tuesday on the best modalities of compensation.
Also in attendance were Eng. Nyamori from irrigation, and the ward agricultural Officer madam Esther Onyango among others