Kenya is pushing Israeli contractor for its multimillion shilling Galana-Kulalu food security project, after the Israeli government commits Sh 3.5 billion more to train youth on irrigation engineering.
Plans are to ensure irrigation infrastructure for 10,000 acre model farm-part of 500,000 acre where Galana Kulalu ranch sits in is complete for commissioning by July before planned visit by Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Natanyahu.
Kenya’s water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa says the Israeli firm contracted to set up the model farm has agreed to speed up the process to allow the Israeli Prime Minister commission it.
Wamalwa was speaking during President Kenyatta’s state visit to Israel where the Kenyan president signed deals to expand cooperation between Kenya and the Jewish state.
“We have signed the necessary agreement to provide financing through an Israeli bank which provides enough finances to complete the project ahead of schedule,”Wamalwa said.
President Kenyatta said with 70 per cent of the country under arid conditions Kenya could not afford to rely on rain fed agriculture.
Members of Parliament have also thrown their weight behind the project after they reversed their decision on the Galana Kulalu irrigation project after touring Israel.
National Assembly Committee on Livestock and Agriculture said the Israel firm, Green Arava contracted to cultivate the 10,000 acres of the model firm had proven it had capacity to deliver the project.
The Committee Vice Chair Kareke Mbiuki told journalists that they were satisfied with the capacity of Green Arava after touring their establishments in Israel.
“The company has the capacity and technology to implement the project, we are one hundred per cent behind it because it will make Kenya food secure,” Mbiuki said.
The projects cost has been reduced from initial Sh 14 billion to Sh 7.2 billion after some elements like milling plant, police station, primary school, greenhouses and cold rooms were eliminated.