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August 09, 2010

Kenya gets $149 Million Japanese irrigation loan to boost rice production

by Sarah McGregor

Kenya will receive a 12.1 billion- shilling ($149 million) loan from Japan to build an irrigation system to boost rice production as it seeks to reduce its reliance on imports, government officials said.

The loan for expanding the Mwea Irrigation System, 100 kilometers (62 miles) southeast of the capital, Nairobi, will help Kenya meet its target of irrigating 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of farmland annually, David Stower, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, told reporters.

The East African nation will also receive a 2.2 billion- shilling grant from Japan to build a water treatment plant and distribution pipes in Embu town, about 120 kilometers northeast of Nairobi, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said at the same press briefing in the capital.


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