Agriculture 2020-01-31T20:12:27+00:00
Mandera County has turned drought threatened arid lands into high impact green farms using irrigation along rivers and dams to produce food. It has turned many pastoralists into successful crop farmers and increased acreage under crop, reclaimed a desert and turned it into a productive farmland and today, the sight of many lush green farms with a variety of crops ranging from maize to vegetables fruits have gone a long way in ensuring food security and enabling farmers to make income. Currently, Mandera County produces arguably the sweetest watermelons on the continent.Vast tracts of land that were initially populated by shrubs are today food crops targeting the export market.The following key achievements have been realized in this sector:
  1. DEVELOPMENT OF IRRIGATION INFRASTRUCTURE
    • The Department of Agriculture and Irrigation has been engaged in the development of irrigation infrastructure along River Daua for irrigated crop production through construction of new structures as well as rehabilitation of existing structures to improve their efficiencies.During the period, a total length of 7.129 kilometers of main concrete and lateral canals was constructed and rehabilitated complete with all accessories in the six irrigation schemes and other irrigation farms along River Daua.
  2. BUSH CLEARING TO OPEN MORE FARM LAND FOR CROP PRODUCTION
    • The Department of Agriculture and Irrigation carried out to open up more land for cultivation.For the period under review, a total of 2,145 acres of farmland was opened up through bush clearing to create more arable land under cultivation.
  3. DEVELOPMENT OF FLOOD CONTROL STRUCTURES FOR PROTECTION OF IRRIGATION FARM LANDS FROM FLOOD WATERS
    • Most farmlands along the River Daua are prone to floods when the river burst its banks. In an effort to prevent silt deposition and massive destruction to crops in the farms, the department has set up measures to minimize soil fertility degradation and crops losses by constructing structures at the river break points adjacent to farms.
    • During the period a total length of 910 meters of gabion structures was constructed along the riverbank to protect irrigated farmlands from destruction of crops by floods.
  4. DEVELOPMENT OF WATER SPREADING, WATER HARVESTING AND STORAGE RESERVOIRS FOR FARMING IN RAIN FED AREAS
    • Water spreading structures have been constructed and meant to spread run off into farms for crop production especially in areas with streams (laggas). Water harvesting structures were developed in areas to undertake rain fed farming activities through small-scale irrigation.
  5. CONSTRUCTION OF PERIMETER FENCE AND FARM ACCESS ROADS
    • Perimeter fences are constructed to prevent farms from invasion by wild life, which may damage crops before being harvested. Farm access roads are constructed to enable farmers transport farm tools and inputs while carrying out farm operations. They are also important in transporting crop produce after harvest. A total of 2,910 meter long perimeter fence was constructed and 1 kilometer of farm access road graveled.
  6. PROVISION OF IRRIGATION PUMP SETS TO SCHEMES AND FARMER GROUPS
    • Purchase and distribution of water pump sets for crop production have been carried out to assist in abstraction of water from the river and shallow wells for irrigation. During the period, the following water pump set categories were purchased and supplied.Six 2/3-piston diesel engine water pump sets provided for schemes, Ninety four 1-piston diesel engine water pump sets supplied to group farms, Forty portable petrol water pumps supplied to group farm with shallow wells
  7. PURCHASE AND SUPPLY OF FARM INPUTS AND PROCUREMENT OF FARM TRACTORS WITH IMPLEMENTS
    • Over the period, 120 metric tons of assorted seeds and seedlings were procured and distributed to farmers countywide. Six farm tractors, six ploughs, two harrows and one trailer was procured for Agricultural Mechanization Services station.
    • Livestock production plays an important socioeconomic role in Mandera County. Like arid and semi-arid areas, it accounts for as much as nine-tenths of employment and family income.But extensive livestock systems and pastoralist households in Mandera’s rangelands were previously vulnerable to the effects of drought.
    • Before devolution, huge losses to livestock populations from droughts occurred affecting Mandera communities without intervention or cushioning. Today, we can proudly say no person or animal can die because of lack of water or pasture.We have interventions that strengthen households’ traditional coping mechanisms and improve their resilience to future shocks.
    • Besides climate change risks our pastoralists lost up to 50 per cent of their livestock to preventable disease outbreaks every year. Our dream was to transform pastoralism from a way of life to a commercially viable activity targeting the export market with meat products and developing a leather and tannery industry. That dream is still very much alive and on course.