Japan To Empower Rice Farmers In Kirinyaga

KIRINYAGA, Kenya, Dec 8 – Kirinyaga County has partnered with the Japanese government to assist small-scale horticulture farmers with modern farming to increase their income.

The Japan ambassador to Kenya, Okaniwa Ken, made the revelations when he paid a courtesy call to Mwea Kirinyaga County.

Ambassador Ken said the program implemented through JICA will cost 13 billion Kenyan shillings, which will train extension workers to empower farmers on quality production and market accessibility.

The Ambassador revealed that the Japanese government will support various experimental projects in the county, especially in areas with production capacity to double income for the farmers.

“We are here also to inspect the Mwea Rice irrigation scheme and access the effectiveness of Thiba Dam to feed water to canals in the furthest units of the area.” Said the ambassador.

He urged the county government to include its programs in the county integrated development plan (CIDP) for effective promotion and implementation of the projects.

Ambassador Ken lauded the Kirinyaga County Government Administration for its cordial working relationship with the Japanese Government and called for better relations.

He added that the Japanese government will explore horticultural export markets to improve farmers livelihoods.

“This project was set to be a demonstration in the country, and it is my joy that it has achieved its result. It is my expectation that the Kirinyaga County government will expand the areas using its own funding,” he said.

Deputy Governor Kirinyaga County David Githanda, who was in company with the Japan delegation, assured the team of full support from the Kirinyaga County Government, appreciated the support and commitment they have put in to support Kirinyaga farmers, and thanked the JICA for the continued support of the live-changing empowerment programs in the county.

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“All these programs mean more money to our farmers, and as the country’s government, we support farmers with the necessary resources,” he said.

He added that Thiba Dam has increased rice farming to ten thousand acres in an area that did not have access to water.

Kirinyaga Senetor Kamau Murango, who is the leader of the agricultural committee in the Senate, has said the 13 billion dollars of support from the Japanese government will help more rice farmers expand and make use of the land not in use when water canals are permanently complicated.

“The project will not only help Mwea farmers but will also help the country to be able to provide more food to Kenyans. This is one of the key agenda items of the Kenya Kwanza government. We will create employment for more people.” He said

He called the contractors who are on the site doing the canals to speed up the projects and take as little time as possible.

The project is expected to take two years.

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