Government assures Galana/Kulalu irrigation project will not be privatized

The government has dismissed speculations that the 1.7 million acres Galana/Kulalu irrigation project in Coast region will be privatized.

The Agriculture Principal Secretary (PS), Richard Lesiyampe said the government was only looking for a strategic partner to help make the vast land located in Kilifi and Tana River Counties more productive.

Speaking to Journalists on Tuesday after an induction meeting with the Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture at a Mombasa Hotel, Lesiyampe said no government land can be sold without the approval of Parliament.

We are looking for a strategic partner in a transparent manner to bring the arable and idle land under agriculture, said the PS.

Lesiyampe was reacting to a statement issued by a section of Coast leaders last week that the government plans to privatize the Galana/Kulalu project and threatened to evict any private developer allocated the land.

The government is not in a business of doing farming thus there is need to look for strategic partners and the community to do farming, he added.

The PS assured that the earlier announcement by the government that 250,000 acres out of the 1.7 million will be given to the local community still stands.

At the same time, Lesiyampe said the country has adequate stock of maize and that retail price of the 2kg packet of unga should not be more than Sh.115.

The PS said though the subsidy programme ended last December, a 90kg bag of maize should remain at Sh.3, 200.

Source: Kenya News Agency