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February 16, 2012

Kenya irrigated rice to be expanded

by Patrick Beja

Kenya is cultivating rice in irrigation facilities along the Tana and Athi rivers.

Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (Tarda) chairman Mr Mturi Ndegwa said rice production has been successful in the Tana delta since the revival of a farm under the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP).

Regional Development Authorities PS Mr Curey Orege said the Ministry of Agriculture was urgently seeking Sh300 million to put a 2,000-hectare rice farm in the lower Tana to address food security.

Orege made the remarks at Gamba in Tana River County when he launched rice harvesting using combine harvesters.

Tarda has put 800 hectares under pishori rice and expects to harvest 2,500 tonnes.

Last season, Tarda put 850 hectares under commercial rice and harvested 1,500 tonnes of paddy. Tarda invested Sh56 million and reaped Sh106 million profit.

Orege said rice farming in the area was revived under the ESP when government allocated Sh800 million to repair the water canals, dykes and milling plant.

The Standard

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