In April 2018, KfW commissioned AHT to undertake a partial assessment of the third phase of the Smallholder Irrigation Program Mounty Kenya Region (SIPMK III). The assessment focused on cropping intensity, which is one of the Program’s key performance indicators. Cropping intensity is defined as the number of crops a farmer grows in a given agricultural year on the same plot of land. For smallholder households in Sub-Saharan Africa, increasing the number of crops, that is increasing the cropping intensity, is a common agricultural intensification strategy. The assessment was carried out in two smallholder irrigation schemes, Mitooini and Kandiu, located in Kirinyaga County with irrigated areas of 140 and 200 ha, respectively.
The data gathered through representative household surveys and field observations showed that three years after construction, cropping intensities had increased significantly compared to pre-project levels. The study further found that farmers are now growing a wider variety of crops with a stronger focus on profitable irrigated horticultural crops. The establishment and support of smallholder irrigation schemes has thus contributed to the improvement of living conditions of the farming population in the Program area.
(Dirk Rolker, 06/2018)