Coast Development Authority is partnering with residents of Chakama to undertake irrigation farming on 218 acres of land whose main objective is to assist in boosting food production and upgrading living standards of the residents.
About 200 farmers in Chakama Location, Kilifi County have benefitted from programme initiated by CDA in a bid to address food security. CDA is injecting Ksh. 22 million worth of resources in Phase Two to ensure that Chakama residents benefit from the project. CDA’s Managing Director, Dr. Mohamed Keinan Hassan says the purpose of the project is to promote irrigation farming among small holder farmers in Chakama thereby assisting in mitigating against and building their resilience to climate change; leading to an increase in food security and improving their quality of life.
Dr. Keinan said he was excited about the partnership between CDA and the farmers in Chakama. He said the 218 acres of land being used for the project is primarily owned by the community in the area who have been trained by CDA in good agricultural practices and irrigation farming.
Dr. Keinan commended the residents for their efforts and commitment during the implementation of the project citing the positive changes that would take place in the area. He said although most crops grown are for subsistence, there is ready market in Malindi and Mombasa in case of surplus. The Authority has trained the farmers in production of high-value crops, including onions, water melon, maize and tissue culture bananas. Dr. Keinan said the first phase of the project where CDA planted 1.3 million Casuarina trees was a huge success.
Chakama location, despite being an arid area with an annual rainfall of below 750mm, is endowed with a permanent source of fresh water nearby locally known as River Galana, which CDA has tapped into for irrigation farming. CDA has constructed permanent irrigation infrastructure including piped irrigation canals that will ensure that local farms have adequate water supply.
The Authority rehabilitated the dilapidated irrigational infrastructure in the scheme by putting up 9 lines (canals) for water in the 5 blocks each spaced 250m apart on the 218 acres of land.
CDA’s Managing Director was speaking during the handing over of 9 portable water pumps to the irrigation scheme members.