By Renson Buluma
The Government through National Irrigation Board (NIB) is set to construct Sh80 million rice milling factory in Bunyala, Busia County.
NIB will also set up an irrigation scheme at Sisenye area in the county. The two projects will benefit hundreds of farmers in the region. Most rice farmers travel over 200 kilometres to reach millers. The farmers take their produce to a milling company at Ahero in Nyanza.
NIB Western Kenya regional manager Laban Kiplagat said the design of the factory has already been completed and the contractor, who was awarded the tender, will begin working on the facility in the next two weeks.
“This is part of the Government’s policy to boost food security and create opportunities for economic empowerment. Farmers will boost their production that will subsequently address food security,” said Kiplagat.
He added that NIB had in the past acquired land for putting up a milling plant before the project was shelved.
The land and building was an initiative of the late Labour minister Peter Okondo. “NIB’s work will be to install milling machines, connect electricity, and ensure that the services are brought closer to farmers,” he explained. Kiplagat was speaking at NIB offices in Bunyala during one-day training workshop for rice farmers.
Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba, NIB chief irrigation officer Daniel Atula and Bunyala DC Khalif Ali were present at the event.
Others were KCB Busia region manager Eliud Kiborek and Joel Tanui, NIB manager Bunyala.
Namwamba commended Government’s efforts in reviving Bunyala Irrigation Scheme saying it has transformed lives of Budalangi residents.
He welcomed the move to initiate Sisenye Irrigation Scheme and construction of milling factory at Sisenye, saying it will help expand production of the crop in the region because farmers will be able to use water from Lake Victoria for irrigation.