Kenyan Government to Reduce Dependence on Rainfed Agriculture, Relief Food
By Gift Briton and Tsim Mavisi
In an effort to boost food and nutritional security, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development will collaborate with county governments to develop strategies for improving agricultural productivity in the country while reducing dependence on rainfed agriculture and relief food.
Mithika Linturi, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Livestock Development said during a press briefing in Nairobi, Kenya.
“It is shaming that 60 years after independence Kenya at times still has to rely on relief food. Therefore, to achieve food security, we are going to work with our county governments to strengthen our working relationship and ensure continuous engagements between the ministry and the county governments on issues around the agricultural sector and review all frameworks and policies to ensure they are responsive to our current needs,” he said, adding that the ministry will prioritize and create a holistic countrywide extension program.
The Ministry in consultation with the council of Governors, has resolved to form a technical committee of seven members that will review all policies and issues in the agricultural sector and report back within four weeks, Linturi said.
The government has taken several initiatives to improve food security in the country including subsidizing agricultural inputs such as fertilizers and seeds among others. It has also committed to building many irrigation dams that will facilitate the use of non-rainfed agriculture thereby enabling farmers to produce food on a continuous basis, he added.
Benjamin Cheboi, Governor Baringo County, further noted that the National government together with County governments are taking proactive measures to ensure that the country is food secure in the not-too-distant future, adding that “these are the only two arms of government that will ensure improved productivity and improved economy for the nation.”
Furthermore, Muthomi Njuki, Governor Tharaka Nithi county noted that lack of proper coordination between county governments and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has been one of the factors that has made production in Kenya very difficult, noting that” we are very happy to be on a table where we are speaking the same language.”