County Chief Officer for Agriculture and Land Reclamation Janerose Tioko yesterday led a team of officers from the department for a working visit of Katilu Irrigation Scheme in Turkana South Sub-County.

The visit is part of the familiarisation tour of the Chief to check on the department’s projects, assess the infrastructure as well as interact with farmers to identify gaps which need to be addressed.

In her remarks, CCO Janerose said the Government was committed to strengthen infrastructure of existing irrigation schemes and capacity building of farmers to increase food production and profitability through sale of farm produce.

She regretted that insecurity had slowed down farming activities in a food basket area whose potential hasn’t been fully optimized. She promised that the Government will work with other food security stakeholders to uproot Prosobis as well as provide certified seeds for farmers.

The farmers identified farm invasion by Prosobis Juliflora, insecurity and lack of farming equipment as main challenge hindering food production in the more than 2000-acre irrigation in Katilu.

CCO Janerose emphasized on the need to collaborate efforts with National Irrigation Authority (NIA) to increase acreage for land production and called on farmers to diverse production to other crops like sorghum.

County Director for Agriculture Paul Lokone stated that the department was focused on achieving the Government agenda on food security through mechanized farming and enhanced extension by ward agricultural officers.

National Irrigation Authority Turkana Regional Coordinator Eng. Charles Shiundu committed to work with the County Government in enhancing production in Katilu and echoed CCO Janerose’s call for crop rotation.

Also present were Deputy Director for Administration David Longole, Sub County Irrigation Officer Oloo Omondi and Sub County Agriculture Officer Francis Emuto.