Kenya has finally cancelled the contract of Green Arava, an Israeli company that was setting up a model farm at the Galana-Kulalu irrigation scheme, bringing to an end a protracted battle between the parties.
A local company would be contracted to complete the work, the government has said.
Water and Irrigation Principal Secretary Joseph Irungu said the government took the step for breach of contract.
This comes just two months after Israel Deputy Ambassador Eyal David said the two countries had agreed on Green Arava resuming the works at the one million-acre farm.
“We have ended the Green Arava contract and we are going to do the remaining work on the model farm through local talent that we have,” Mr Irungu said.
His sentiments were echoed by the chairman of the National Irrigation Authority, Joshua Toro, who said they do not want the contractor back.
“This contractor was becoming a liability. That is why we do not want him back at Galana,” he said.
This is the first time that the government has come out openly to announce the cancellation of the contract with Green Arava.
Mr David said in March discussions were held with officials from Kilifi and Tana River counties, where the scheme falls, as well as the ministries of Water and Devolution, adding that all was set for the resumption of activities by an Israeli contractor on the farm.
“The Galana-Kulalu project is Israel’s flagship project here in Kenya and it is close to the hearts of President Uhuru Kenyatta and our Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, so there is no way it can collapse,” he added.