The Kenyan national and county governments have pledged to work together with intergovernmental organisations, farmers and private partners to ensure the country’s economic backbone, the agricultural sector, thrives.
Speaking at the fourth Intergovernmental Forum on Agriculture in Mombasa, cabinet secretary for agriculture Peter Munya said the country is still lagging behind in terms of food security. He emphasized the need to improve collaboration in order to achieve a modern agricultural sector that supports 100% food and nutrition security.
Munya stated that the change of the sector necessitates the participation of as many stakeholders as possible, as this will allow the sector to reflect on its development.
“We still have some gaps to be filled in order for us to reach our targets. The sector has grappled with drought, locust invasions and the pandemic. Through appropriate and timely intervention we can achieve our goal.”Cabinet secretary for agriculture Peter Munya
“The United Nations Food System Summit demonstrated our commitment towards achieving food security. I therefore encourage stakeholders to embrace all the outcomes as they assist in our collaboration,” said Munya via a statement.
According to him changes in the way agricultural government subsidies are provided, have been detected as a result of the government’s E-voucher system. He also stated that the government is taking an active role in scaling up data and digital technology to boost agricultural output.
“We also initiated the strategic food reserve reforms through the digital data platforms. From the 3rd IGF, one of the resolutions was to roll out a youth strategy; we have rebranded the 4K clubs for investment and business,” added Munya.
Collaboration will improve agri targets
He complimented the Kenyan president for putting food security as one of the huge four asgendas, which he said was a big step forward in terms of improving the sector. Munya urged the private sector to join the collaboration, stating that there is still much work to be done.
“The key challenges we need to deal with are climate change by putting various interventions and mitigations measures, working with our livestock keepers to change their mindset on how they can manage their animals during drought season, settling the problem of quality fertilizer and animal feeds and making young people interested in agriculture by making it seem like a business,” said Munya.
Dr. James Nyoro, chairman of the Council of Governors’ (COG) Agricultural Committee and Kiambu County Governor, said the counties have agreed to spend at least 10% of their budget on improving food security systems. “The problem is that we have an increase of people living below the poverty line which has caused by lack of growth in agricultural and manufacturing sectors. By putting more money in agriculture, Intra and intergovernmental coordination will help transform the sector,” he said.
COG has advised development partners not to favour areas where national and county administrations appear to be competing or duplicating functions, according to Nyoro. COG, according to the governor, is pushing for a fundamental reorganisation of the agriculture sector. He added that the council promotes the transition from subsistence to commercial agriculture systems.