Prof Charles Gachene from LARMAT on 16th and 17th November, 2021 led stakeholders meetings on supplemental Irrigated Agriculture for crop production in the agro pastoral communities of Chumvi village, Laikipia County. The objective of the proactive activity was for familiarise the team with the project site and discussion meetings with potential stakeholders. The farmers are experiencing a number of challenges, among them, lack of good water for irrigation (a) and Green algae and silt ladden dam( b) and human – wildlife conflict (c) where for instance, this farmer's crop of miraa, sugarcane and bananas were destroyed by elephants. The research team, led by Prof CKK Gachene (in a white T- shirt ) plans to install 1/8 acre plot drip irrigation system. Soil and water samples were collected for assessing their suitability for irrigation.
There are organised farmer groups that have started practising irrigated agriculture in the surrounding areas. Source of water is mainly from rivers whose source of water is from Mt Kenya. The farmers seem to target two high value vegetable crops, namely onions and tomatoes Most of the harvested water has grown algae and the recently constructed dam, is heavily silted. This no doubt will affect the type of irrigation system to be used. What came out clearly is that the farmers need training in proper soil and water management practices.