Turkana County CEC for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Philip Aemun has directed the contractor doing rehabilitation works at the Lokwar/Kaputir surface irrigation scheme to cooperate with the farmers and department administrators to speed up the completion of the food security project.
The CEC says the rehabilitation works at the 353 acre farm ,which includes lining of 21 metre canal and construction of flood protection structures along the main canal was meant to improve farm infrastructure to enhance optimum food production for the irrigation scheme.
“Part of Governor Nanok’s agenda in his last term is achievement of food security in Turkana. He intends to achieve this through strengthening of food production systems on farmlands , improved animal health and fish value chain .” said Aemun
The CEC was speaking at Lokwar village in Kaputir ward when he toured the irrigation scheme together with the Chief Officer Jacob Lolelea to monitor the ongoing rehabilitation works as well as meeting the farmers.
He said that part of the County Government’s journey towards achieving food security was supporting producer groups through value addition of their products.
The scope of the rehabilitation works include; completion of the intake canal structure,rehabilitation of infield irrigation and completion of 1.26km concrete lining of the canal, among others.
The works also involves the excavation of the main canal and perimeter fencing of the farmland.
CEC Aemun called for support from the community and area leadership towards completion of the farm project. The prohect has stalled for a time due to a dispute between the farmers and the contractor.
While assuring of the County Government will to address issues of food insecurity through revival of stalled irrigation schemes and improvement of farm infrastructure, CEC Aemun noted that the current peace stability in Turkana south had provided a conducive environment for farmers to go back to their farms and produce enough food along the riverine.
He added that the County Government will revive stalled irrigation schemes and capacity build farmers in the region to increase food production through putting more land under crop production.
Kaputir ward MCA Shadrack Lodong’a regretted that past disputes between the contractor and farmers has affected the operations works at the farm but called for unity and transparency.
The project is expected to benefit 451 households directly.