Earlier today, Ms. Tess Russo of the Gates Foundation made a courtesy call to the Principal Secretary for Irrigation Mr. Ephantus Kimotho at his office.

This visit was a part of supporting irrigation and water resources management in Kenya by the Gates Foundation.

 The meeting followed discussions with the National Irrigation Sector Investment Plan (NISIP) taskforce on the progress of the hydro-economic zoning, water accounting, and planning tools for Management Information System (MIS) at the national and county level, in partnership with the Gates Foundation.

The discussions revolved around the priorities of the government on agricultural transformation that is targeting increased household food security, reduction of imports and increasing export under the BETA plan.

 President Ruto’s government hopes to achieve this goal through the expansion of irrigation infrastructure to cover over 1 million acres in 2027.

 The state department indicated some of the priority areas of focus which include providing irrigation services to farmers in over 700,000 acres so as to enhance agricultural productivity.

Ms. Tess highlighted that under the Global Growth and Opportunity division, the Gate Foundation partners in program geared towards agricultural development for food security, economic development, and financial inclusion systems among others.

The State Department is set to rollout MIS system aimed at providing elaborate data on water resources, area under irrigation, performance of irrigation systems, and production information to the sector players, particularly the farmers.

This will promote agricultural development for food security and economic development and financial inclusion systems, among others, that would greatly contribute to the aspirations of the state department for irrigation.

Additionally, the Gates Foundation is working on a tool with a Kenyan local bank, ADAPTA Management Limited that is of interest to the SDI as it will help banks in lending to farmers.

PS Kimotho appreciated the Gates Foundation for the support in the formulation of NISIP and committed to engage more on future collaborations to transform lives and livelihoods of farmers in Kenya.