Kakamega County has established a multi-sectorial County Agricultural Sector Steering Committee (CASSCOM) that is aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity.
The Chief Officer for Agriculture and Irrigation Jeremiah Namunyu said CASSCOM, which is modelled on the Joint Agricultural Sector Steering Committee (JASSCOM) at the national level, will initiate reforms in various value chains with a view of revitalizing agriculture.
“The committee which is chaired by the Deputy Governor Prof Philip Kutima, who doubles as the agriculture, livestock and fisheries development Executive, will undertake the transformation of the agricultural sector through policy formulation, resource mobilization and dissemination of agricultural information,” he said.
The other members are representatives of value chain actors, financial institutions and Non-Governmental Organizations.
Namunyu stated that the Committee will also provide a framework for monitoring and evaluation as well as soliciting for support of the agricultural projects in the county.
He added that CASSCOM has been formed as part of the implementation of the various structures envisaged in the second phase of the Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP II) which was launched in 2017 to transform the country’s agricultural sector.
The County ASDSP11 Coordinator Albert Ochenje said the programme is concentrating on three main value chains including Poultry, Dairy and Maize.
He added that the programme is keen on addressing issues of input supply, production, processing, and marketing across the three value chains.
Ochenje said he has mobilized the various value chain actors inclusive of producers, processors and marketers and devised an Integrated Value Chain Action Plan to address their challenges.
He added that the county contracted top notch service providers who have handed in their proposals regarding interventions to the identified challenges which have been reviewed by CASSCOM upon its inception.
“We have approved the proposals but we need the input of other stakeholders who will assist in funding various activities to ensure all three value chains are invigorated,” he said.
He added that CASSCOM has been formed as a governance structure as outlined in the implementation guidelines of ASDSP II to improve coordination in the agricultural sector within the county through joint planning, monitoring and evaluation.
By Sammy Mwibanda and Remigius Maloba