The Government of Kenya through the National Irrigation Board is using irrigation technologies to ensure intensification of production and the opening of new projects in the arid and semi-arid areas to achieve food security in the country. One such project is The Galana/ Kulalu Food Security Project that is hosted by two counties, Kilifi and Tana River. One of its intended results is to bring down the price of Kenya's staple food (Maize). In Galana, the target is to develop 400,000 acres of the vast Galana/Kulalu ranch which covers 1.75million acres but with the irrigation potential estimated to be 1.2million acres.

Location of Galana/Kulalu in Kenya




Due to complexity and the sheer scale of the project, implementation is being carried out in three phases:

Phase I:         Establishment of a 10,000 acre model farm to test the recommended technologies. These are drip and center pivot systems

Phase II:        Development of a 2 billion m3 dam and water conveyance system for 400,000 acres

Phase III:      The development of major infrastructure including: link roads and railway lines to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the Lamu Port Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor and an international airport.



a)    Main components

The proposed Model Farm is designed and planned to have the main enterprise as maize. The project is under implementation standing at 67% complete.

The Water system for the Model Farm include the following components:-

·         2 No. pumping stations on the river Galana with a bypass canal and weir constructed to divert water. The pumping stations will be supported by 23 pumps. 5 pumps have been installed and 2 on standby. More pumps have been ordered.

 ·      Water pipeline network has been constructed to a running length of 30 km with sizes ranging from 110 mm to 710mm diameter. The material for pipes include uPVC, HDPE, Steel.

The irrigation systems includes:

·         24 No. center pivots with fertigation units with 20 units delivered and 19 installed covering an area of about 3135 acres. One centre pivot is undergoing installation.

·         Drip systems have been delivered to cover 2000 acres and are undergoing installation starting with the laterals and filters to farm plots. There are two reservoirs to support drip irrigation, each of 45,000 cubic meters, planned to enhance further sedimentation. One is under construction at 60% complete.


Layout of Model Farm


b)    Projected impact

·         Maize production of 40,000 tonnes or 4,450 bags (90kg bag) per season.

·         Generation of revenue amounting to Kshs. 1 Billion per season.

·         Employment opportunities for over 30,000 people.


c)     Current status

·         10,000 acres fully bush cleared and fenced.

·         One intake of 8 pumps each with capacity of 600 cubic metres per hour has been installed.

·         15 Centre pivots each covering 165 acres installed, Installation of 9 more ongoing.

·         2,500acres cropped with maize at various growth stages

·         Harvesting commenced in part of the planted area and realizing average yield of 35 bags per acre



a)    Main components

The pilot farm is structured to be implemented using the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, whereby the government invest in water conveyance system. The private investors would be invited to put up field infrastructure.

This will involve the following:

·   Construction of One mega dam with a capacity of 2 billion cubic meters

·   Water conveyance system for one block measuring 400,000 Acres

·   Fencing of the 400,000 acres block using solar powered electric fence and excavating a trench (moat) around the farm

·  Construction of 100 Km Class (C17) tarmac road from Mackinnon to Galana Kulalu Farm

·  Construction of staff houses and office blocks


b)    Projected impacts

-   2 Million jobs will be created both directly and indirectly.

-   200,000 acres will be cropped with maize and the other 200,000 acres will be used for other agricultural enterprises

-   Other economic activities i.e. support industries – hotel, commercial centres, tourism and other commercial activities will emerge on development of the farm.

-   The Galana model may be replicated in other parts of the country.



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