Tapping into Mianda Irrigation:  A tale of the new farming scheme changing farmers’ fortunes in Kitui


    Many farmers in Kitui have been practicing small scale farming to make a living and are looking for ways to increase productivity. Research indicates that small farm yield can be doubled by irrigation {UN FAO}.


    However, since Governor Charity Ngilu assumed office in 2017, more farmers have taken up horticultural farming through the “Mianda” farming program.

    Framers receive among others seeds and pesticides to grow quick growing high value crops like vegetables for both domestic and commercial cause.

    A tour of the rural areas of Kitui is evidenced by a rising number of farmers who have joined the programme launched by the County Government in 2017.

    The farmers tell a story of improved livelihoods, increased gains and expanded lands under farming as the key upshots of the Mianda irrigation programme.


    Richard Mutua Kimanzi, a farmer in Mbitini, Kitui Rural gives an account of a fifteen-year journey in farming that has seen him grow his farming capacity from gains accruing from horticulture.

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    Kimanzi, however, narrates how his production capacity has continually increased since the County Government introduced the “mianda” programme in late 2017. He says he received the news of a programme targeting cooperatives with great hope and joined other farmers who shared his dream.

    The first round of his project under the programme would yield 40 sacks of red onions {4000 kilogrammes} that he sold at sh.240,000 retaining sh.180,000 as profit. Kimanzi, who resigned from an industrial area company in Nairobi where he worked for years before joining farming prides in his new scheme.

    “I have since acquired more land for my project. I earlier sponsored my wife’s college education and am paying my children’s boarding fees. These are not trivial strides”. He says.

    Kimanzi is an example of many more farmers earning fortunes from the mianda irrigation project.


    The project has since succeeded in many parts of Kitui County and more farmers have formed cooperatives to collectively bargain for better prices and fetch higher benefits from the county government braced programme.

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    Water and food security form Governor Charity Ngilu’s first priority in her five-pronged development manifesto followed by healthcare, education and youth development, women empowerment and wealth creation respectively

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