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Agriculture Ministry embarks on pilot agricultural data collection

The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has embarked on a Quarterly Agricultural survey in three counties.

Speaking during a courtesy call to Busia County Commissioner at the boardroom on Monday, the Assistant Manager KNBS Zachary Ochola said that despite agriculture being the backbone of the country, there were challenges with data.

“The Ministry is now partnering with KNBS to carry out quarterly surveys that establish exact data on maize, beans, Irish potatoes, bananas and green grams in the county,” he said, adding that an annual survey would also be carried out on all ranges of crops.

Ochola added that the survey which targets three selected counties would also cover livestock in terms of cattle, goats, poultry, camels and aquaculture.

“Three counties were selected for the exercise including Busia, Isiolo and Kiambu,” he said adding that Kiambu was selected specifically for Irish potatoes, Isiolo for camels and Busia for aquaculture

He stated that the team has decided to carry out the survey on the priority crops like maize, beans and green grams in Busia County.

“We also have cattle in terms of poultry and aquaculture,” he said, adding that the team would use the household approach and a list of farmers when it comes to specialty crops like rice.

The official said that the team would list the targeted households for the first two days before beginning the pilot survey.

“We have four enumeration areas like Bukhayo West, Nambale Township, Bugengi and Busembe locations,” he said.

The Principal Agricultural Officer Raphael Khaemba said that the information would help in measuring the economic performance of each county which informs the GDP and allocation of resources to each county.

“It will also inform the President on whether what we are doing on the Big Four Agenda has an impact,” he said.

Busia County Commissioner John Korir hailed the team for the initiative requesting that the outcome of the survey should be shared with the relevant counties.

“I hope by the end of the exercise, the information will be shared with the local leaders and farmers so that they can know the challenges and how best to address them,” he said.

Korir expressed concern that Busia is a net importer of most agricultural produce despite the area being a high potential agricultural area.

By Salome Alwanda

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