Capacity development for smallholder irrigation in Kenya uri icon


  • This paper presents the experiences on capacity development for irrigation in Kenya, drawing from a study of seven smallholder irrigation schemes, namely: New Mutaro, Emening, Mitunguu, Ng?uuru Gakirwe, Lari, Mukuria- Kyambogo and Isiolo River Water Users Association. These schemes were selected for their apparent success in irrigation management, sustainability and poverty reduction among the beneficiaries. Although the seven schemes had diverse innovations and enterprises, common drivers of success were identified as: (i) introduction of new knowledge/technology, (ii) availability of markets, (iii) good governance structures, (iv) funding for infrastructure development, and (v) targeted capacity development. It was also found that initial investment costs for smallholder irrigation schemes ranged from about US $198 to $1744 per ha, which is much lower than reported for large public schemes. Generally, all the schemes had recorded improved food security and incomes, with net earnings ranging from US $200 to $1200 per month for single-crop enterprises. Capacity development had played a major role in the positive performance of the schemes. However, the respective schemes had experienced different modes of capacity building, which included government extension services, NGOs, private sector, research institutes, out-grower support schemes and farmer-to-farmer learning. This paper focuses on the role of capacity development

publication date

  • 2008