Perkerra Irrigation Scheme is situated 100 kms North of Nakuru near Marigat Township in Baringo South Sub-County. It derives its name from the 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 Perkerra 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 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.
Among all the Towns in Baringo County, Marigat is leading generator of revenue of about KES 54 million annually. This is attributed mainly to irrigated agriculture.
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.
The Maize Seed varieties produced are for the medium and low altitudes, and include H513, PH4 and DHO4 from Kenya Seed Company and DK777 from Monsanto.
Last year (2018) farmers planted 2,200 acres of seed maize for Kenya Seed Company and Monsanto on contract at a negotiated price of Kes. 66.00 per Kg. The yields were high and farmers delivered a total of 2,652 tons of clean seed maize to the two Seed companies. This production translated to Kes. 175.0 Million which has been paid to farmers through the two Cooperative Societies. In the short season (October – December) farmers planted a variety of crops on contract with Kenya Seed, Simlaw seeds and Monsanto and they are as shown below:
|Crop||Acreage||Growth Stage||Approx. yield, Kg||Price Kes||Expected Income Kes||Marketer|
|Beans||90||Flowering||32,400||100||3,240,000||Sim law seeds|
|Cow peas||55||Flowering||19,800||120||2,376,000||Sim law seeds|
|Sorghum||100||Harvesting||135,000||45||6,075,000||Kenya Seed Co. Ltd|
- Location/County – Baringo County
- Year of establishment – 1956
- Gazetted Area – 5,800 Acres
- Main Crop – Seed Maize
- Area under Irrigation – 3,000 Acres
- Source of irrigation water – River Perkerra
- No. of household farmers – 1,625 Households
- Type of irrigation – Gravity fed open earth channel conveyance with open furrow application system
- Other Crops – Water melon, onions and vegetables
Projected Benefits/ Benefits being realized
Perkerra Irrigation scheme has brought a lot of benefits to the local community, Marigat town, baringo County and the Country at large, and they are as follows:
- Food security to the local community and Baringo County
- Availability of business opportunities for horticultural produce traders
- Increased family income which leads to improved health
- Accessibility to education for school going children
- The growth of Marigat town is attributed to Irrigated farming activities (Banks, Shops, hotels)
- Marigat town is a major contributor to the County government (Kes. 54.0Million, 2017) in revenue
- Contribution to the Country´s big 4 agenda in production of seed maize, green grams and Sorghum
- Water for Irrigation, domestic and livestock