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The following are Problems facing farmers in Mwea irrigation scheme
- Stagnant ware encourages its breeding of snails and mosquitoes increasing incidences of Bilharzia and malaria
- Quelea birds which feed on rice grain lowers drop yield
- Siltation in canals reduces capacity to hold enough water for irrigation
- Fluctuating water volumes reduces water for irrigation
- Poor marketing strategies
- Delayed payment to farmers lowers their morale – Shortage of capital to finance farming activities such as plough
The following conditions that made Mwea suitable for the establishment of an irrigation scheme
- Sparse population making it easy and cheap to resettle people. sparse and low population made it easy to compensate the people who were living in the area.
- Land availability due to low population
- Gently sloping topography enabling gravity flow of water
- Presence of perennial rivers Thiba and Nyarnindi provided adequate water all year.
- The Mwea plains have black cotton soil suitable for rice farming as it retains water.
- The area receives inadequate (poorly distributed) rainfall, hence unsuitable for rainfed agriculture.
- The land is gently sloping hence gravity flow of water in the channels.
- The area has high temperatures hence low pest and disease incidence.
- The undulating relief is suitable for mechanization.
- Need to engage political detainees 1950’s.
- To create land to settle those whose lands were taken by white settlers.
- The plains were sparsely populated.