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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Rice Farmers In Muranga Reap Big From The Crop

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Rice farms can be seen extending well beyond the horizon from the Gaturi ward’s hills.

Muranga County has joined Mwea, Kane, and Budalangi in rice production on a wide scale.

The project is estimated to cost Ksh. 200 million.

Farms can be seen extending well beyond the horizon from the Gaturi ward’s hills.

Kenyans eat it as a staple meal. The biggest problem in Gaturi ward is shortage of water because it is the driest part of Muranga County.

Governor Mwangi WA Iria, on the other hand, saw it as a blessing in disguise.

He made the bold decision to support Gaturi ward residents in having this project on 10,000 acres.

The project’s yield looks promising, with a single acre yielding 26 100kg bags.

In Muranga, this type of farming has been adopted by over 900 farmers.

A Great Venture

Most farmers prefer rice farming to horticulture as it has a steady price and a ready market.

I’ve never looked back on my decision to become a rice farmer. Rice is in higher demand than farmers can supply. Rice has a ready market, making it a profitable venture as opposed to planting crops such as corn, tomatoes, and others. A 100kg bag of maize, for example, costs about Ksh. 2500, while a 100kg bag of rice costs about Ksh. 6600.

John Mwangi, rice farmer

Water is drawn from the Sagana River through canals that run through the paddies.

The Ksh. 200 million project relies on gravity in the distribution of water.

Prior to the implementation of this programme, villagers relied on the government for relief food.

They will now feed themselves, and the excess is traded in local and international markets.

We used to rely on donations and well-wishers for relief food. But, thanks to this project, we can now happily feed our people while still employing hundreds of people. Normally, the only challenges we face are birds and hippos.

Rosemary Wakuthi, Rice Farmer

Project Expansion Appeal

Farmers are appealing for the expansion of the irrigation project.

They want the national government to build a factory in the Gaturi ward.

And hoping that the government will provide them with fertilizer as well as other farming inputs such as training.

Kenya consumes over 450,000 tons of rice each year, despite producing just 160,000 tons.

The country is currently aiming to increase production to 325,000 tons per year.

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