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Africa's Biggest Irrigation Schemes

Most African countries have reached the Millennium Development Goals of reducing the percentage of populations who are in danger of starvation by improving their agricultural produce through irrigation schemes.

Agriculture is one of the biggest economic activities in many African countries.

The continent has 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated land that is arable. Unpredictable weather conditions however pose a big challenge to the agricultural production. This has led to many countries adopting irrigation farming as a way of increasing food production

Some of the biggest irrigation schemes in Africa include:

Gezira, Sudan. It is located in Al Jazirah State, Sudan. The irrigation scheme was started in 1925 by the British colonialists. It uses water from River Nile which is based on gravity irrigation. Gezira Irrigation Scheme covers an area of 0.88 million hectares which is about 50 percent of the irrigated land in Sudan. Cotton is the main crop grown there. Other crops include sorghum, wheat and vegetables. It is one of the biggest irrigation scheme in the world, with over 100,000 farmers.

Galana-Kulalu Food Security project – Kenya It is found in Kilifi and Tana River Counties, Kenya. It is the largest irrigation project in the country covering 400,000 hectares. It is funded by the Kenyan and Israel governments. The irrigation scheme was launched in 2012 and has fish, livestock and crop production.

Water, Land and Ecosystems

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