Background Information

Perkerra Irrigation Scheme is situated 100 km north of Nakuru Town near Marigat Township in Baringo South Sub-County. It derives its name from River Perkerra, which is the source of irrigation water and the only permanent river in the region.

The construction of the scheme started in 1954 after several feasibility studies, which showed that the Baringo plains were suitable for irrigation.  The last study was done in 1936 but due to financial constraints construction was shelved until the “State of Emergency” period, when Maumau detainees provided labour for construction purposes.  Marigat was one of the many detention camps in the country at that time.

Beneficiary population comprising of direct dependents is approximately 13,000 people. It also, indirectly, benefits the larger Baringo and including parts of Nakuru Counties. The Scheme lies in a semi-arid climate condition with an annual average rainfall of 630mm with great seasonal and annual fluctuations.  Maximum and minimum temperatures average at 36°C and 16°C.  It has high evaporation rates of up to 6mm/day and low percentage relative humidity. Soils are light silt to clay loam and are modestly alkaline with an average pH of 7.5 and little organic matter.  It is rich in calcium phosphate.

           

Statistical Data:

Location/County

Baringo County

 

Year of establishment

1959

 

Gazetted area

5,850 acres

 

Area under Irrigation

2,500 acres

 

Source of irrigation water

River Perkerra

 

No. of households/farmers

789

 

Type of Irrigation

Gravity fed open earth cannel conveyance with open furrow application system

 

Main crop

Seed maize

 

Other crops

Water melon, onions and vegetables

 

Current Status

In 1996 the Scheme farmers started planting seed maize crop under a growing agreement with Kenya Seed Company. Certified seed maize production became a turning point for crop production in the Scheme. Assured market as well as better and prompt payment elated the farmers who improved crop husbandry practices leading to improved production.

Due to increased popularity of the seed maize production in the Perkerra Irrigation Scheme, other neighbouring Irrigation Schemes - Eldume, Sandai, Kamoskoi, Kapkuikui and Mosuro Irrigation Schemes which were community-based and with their own source of irrigation water from rivers Molo, Waseges, Lorwai springs and Kiserian river respectively have been incorporated into the production of the seed maize following the farmers’ request.

The scheme is currently under expansion and irrigation water challenges will be addressed after construction of Radat dam.

 

Projected benefits/ Benefits being realized

The scheme produces over 2 million kilograms of seed maize valued at over KES 100 million annually.  The Scheme also produces banana, pawpaw, citrus, assorted fruit, tree seedlings, Nerica rice and tomatoes among others.

This has transformed Marigat Town to become the economic hub of Baringo County.

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