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Thiba Dam tipped to increase rice output 86,000 tonnes annually

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Thiba Dam tipped to increase rice output 86,000 tonnes annually


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Thiba Dam construction site in Kirinyaga. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The dam will put an additional 10,000 acres of land under the cover of rice on top of the current 25,000 acres, a major boost for local production at the Mwea Irrigation Scheme.
  • Mwea is Kenya’s largest rice scheme and accounts for 80 percent of the country’s annual production and has been relying on Rivers Thiba and Nyamindi for provision of water to farmers.
  • Kenya mainly relies on imports to meet the annual rice needs bringing in 75 percent of all the requirements in a given year.

Kenya will increase its rice production by 86,000 tonnes annually and cut expensive imports following completion of Sh8.2 billion Thiba Dam in Kirinyaga.

The dam will put an additional 10,000 acres of land under the cover of rice on top of the current 25,000 acres, a major boost for local production at the Mwea Irrigation Scheme.

Mwea is Kenya’s largest rice scheme and accounts for 80 percent of the country’s annual production and has been relying on Rivers Thiba and Nyamindi for provision of water to farmers. However, the two sources have been witnessing low levels of water during drought season, affecting the irrigation activities.

“This project will increase our rice production by 86,000 tonnes and will help us to cut the imports we bring in from the Asian countries,” said Charles Mwasia, head of Infrastructure Development at National Irrigation Authority.

“This will lead to an increase in rice production in Mwea from the current 114,000 tonnes to 200,000 tonnes in a year,” he added.

Kenya mainly relies on imports to meet the annual rice needs bringing in 75 percent of all the requirements in a given year.

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