Irrigation to reduce poverty in Kenya

Started by Claudia Casarotto on
27 Oct 2012 at 05:11

FAO carried out a project in Western Kenya to revive irrigated rice production. After one year of operation of the irrigation scheme, the production levels considerably increased together with the farmers’ income:

Of course, problems are at the horizon: a pressurised scheme requires a lot of energy and rice requires a lot of water. In Kenya electricity used for pumping is expensive and often rationed. When power fails, rice production is at risk. Wouldn’t a gravity irrigation scheme have been more sustainable? Or the infrastructural investments would have been too high?

Also marketing of the produce is an issue: prices are still too high for these rice farmers to compete on the market. How could the Naheru farmers decrease further their production costs and gain better competitive access to market?

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