Bunyala Rice Irrigation scheme in Busia County has been ranked second best nationally due to improved rice production in the region.
The scheme’s production levels have almost doubled up from the initial 5,500 tonnes to the current 10,000 metric tonnes per year, making it the second largest producer of rice after Mwea irrigation scheme.
This shift is majorly due to the introduction of two rice planting seasons at the scheme. The national director of the irrigation board in Kenya, Beatrice Mbingi, in her address to rice farmers at Magombe area of Bunyala Central Ward lauded the efforts and team work between irrigation scheme management and rice farmers as a key factor in the production improvement.
She encouraged the farmers in Bunyala to double their efforts that may eventually see the rice irrigation scheme become a food basket for the entire western Kenya region.
Mr. Christopher Gunyi, the Rice Cooperative Society chair person confirmed the increased production, mentioning that farmers at the scheme are now able to pay school fees for their children and even build better houses for their families.
The irrigation board chair further urged Busia County leaders to support the farmers and management at the scheme in order to improve the economic livelihoods of the area residents without politicizing the project. She further emphasized on the commitment of the irrigation scheme and the national to support rice farming for continued food security in the region.
The event was attended by the Busia County deputy governor, Moses Mulomi, who discouraged farmers from selling raw unprocessed rice. He said that they can make good returns from the rice husks, which are used to produce feeds for poultry and fish. Mr. Mulomi further promised that the county government will improve status of roads, culverts and drainage systems in the area for free flow of water and ease in transportation of rice
Budalang’i Mp Hon. Raphael Wanjala assured the residents whose lad had been affected by the Lower Nzoia Irrigation project that they will be compensated before the project construction commences. he further encouraged the farmer to use their own land for rice production and not lease it out to middle men who reap them off their resources.
More reporting from The Star