By Hon. Peter Munya

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives through the State Department for Crop Development and Agricultural Research is implementing the Small-Scale Irrigation and Value Addition Programme (SIVAP) funded by a loan from Africa Development Bank (AfDB), a grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) and the Government of Kenya.

SIVAP is operating in 11 counties namely: Makueni, Kajiado, Machakos, Bomet, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Nyeri, Tana River, Murang’a, Nyandarua and Kitui.

The current on-going SIVAP projects include 12 irrigation schemes, 38 water pans, 17 bore holes, 8 shallow wells and sand dams, 5 grading shades, 4 Livestock Sale Yards and Rehabilitation of 65 KMs of rural roads which are at various stages of completion.

To address the need for food and nutrition security as well as income generation the Ministry through the Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) has planned to set up demonstration plots for Crops, Livestock fodder production and Kitchen Gardens as a COVID – 19 response initiative.

Objectives of the project are to:

  • To carry out clean seeds production demonstrations for High Value Pulses, Cereals, and Fruits Trees.
  • To carry out clean seeds production demonstration for fodder/ Pasture.
  • To provide clean planting materials for establishment of fruit tree orchard demonstrations in the established irrigation schemes.
  • To establish/strengthen nutrition units for communities at the county level through establishment of Home/Kitchen gardens and provide training on good nutrition practices.

The following are the achievements of the project so far.

So far, the project has reached 106,900 households as beneficiaries which are mainly pastoralists and agro-pastoralist.

During the March -May 2020 rains, seeds and seedlings worth Kshs 7.8 million were purchased and distributed to SIVAP counties.

These counties have managed to set up 220 demonstrations plots for both crops and livestock fodder.

Through the projects’ support the Ministry launched “The One Million Kitchen Garden Initiative” in Makueni County on 26th June 2020.

The Ministry through the project has set aside Kshs 500 million to support the one million kitchen garden initiative through provision of kitchen garden kits (Solar Dryers, shade nets and assorted vegetable seeds) for 213,090 Households in 21 counties.

The Ministry through the project established a demonstration and learning site with 15 kitchen garden technologies at the Ministry Headquarters which was launched on 22nd September, 2020

Today we are delighted to flag off 10 project vehicles to support the counties in project follow ups and Management.

The Writer is the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives