Smallholder Irrigation Programme Mount Kenya Region (SIPMK Phases I to III)

The Smallholder Irrigation Program Mount Kenya Region (SIPMK) aimed to increase household incomes of smallholder farmers through the introduction of intensive irrigated farming. SPIMK was designed as an “open program”: The irrigation schemes were selected on the basis of well-defined technical, social, financial and institutional criteria. The project provided support for the implementation of new irrigation schemes and related extension services and offers credit facilities to farmer groups organised in legal entities. For this purpose, the German Government provided loan funds which were on-lent through the Kenyan Ministry of Finance to the participating private Kenyan banks.

Participating farmers were required to organise themselves in farmer cooperatives. This was a prerequisite before submission of a request for scheme implementation to the Program Management Unit (PMU). Once the request had been approved according to predefined selection criteria, each beneficiary of the proposed irrigation scheme had to pay a credit security of up to 10% of his loan as part of his total contribution (farmers contribute 50% to the total investment costs of the irrigation system). Only then the irrigation systems was designed, tendered and constructed. A total of approximately 6,050 households or 35,000 people benefit from the measures of the SIPMK program phases I to III.

Type of services provided:

  • Establishment of the Program Management Unit (PMU);
  • Supervision of site selection, environmental and social assessment studies, final technical design and appropriate engineering concept for diversion structures and infield irrigation systems;
  • Assistance to the Irrigation and Drainage Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in tendering, bid evaluation, contracting and supervision of the works and supply contracts;
  • Support to farmer groups for the establishment and legal registration as farmer cooperatives to become qualified for loan financing for the construction of small-holder irrigation schemes;
  • Design and delivery of agricultural extension services to farmer cooperatives in promotion of (food) products;
  • Support to farmers for EurepGAP/GLOBALGAP certification based on public-private partnerships to increase export of food products to the EU;
  • Training of farmer cooperatives in operation and maintenance of the irrigation infrastructure;
  • Advice to farmers in loan applications and management;
  • Handing over of the irrigation infrastructure to the farmer cooperative.
Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries
09/2005 – 09/2015
Contract value: 4,746,898
Pipe-laying at field level
Farmer verifying his French beans crop