The new Policy framework which awaits national validation before enactment was anchored on the Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS) 2019-2029 which was tailored to inject fresh impetus into the government’s efforts to make the country food secured under the Big Four Agenda.
Director of Research and innovation, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Dr. Oscar Magenya in a precursor interview ahead of the Second-High Panel Conference on Agriculture Research in Kenya (HiPCARK) said the new strategy consists of nine flagship areas that are key in addressing the bottlenecks constraining efforts to realize the food security pillar.
He said the two days conference to be held next week aims to create an enabling environment for research and innovation under the ASTGS flagship 8 initiative which seeks to streamline the sharing of data among key players in sector to ensure agriculture continued to play a critical role in the social development of the country.
” There is need for research to provide insights and innovative technologies for overcoming challenges along the value chains and increase productivity in view of the threats posed by the current Covid 19 pandemic, climate change, desert and locust invasion” he said.
Dr. Magenya said the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) identified research as one of the key priority in re engineering the agricultural sector for better performance and returns.
The Conference whose theme ” contribution of research and innovation in the mitigating the impact of natural disasters in Kenya’s agriculture and food system” give stakeholders opportunity to brainstorm on the trends, opportunities, solutions and challenges to research for agriculture development in changing climatic regimes.
The forum is also expected to provide a platform to interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and bridging gaps among various stakeholders in agriculture research, business community , political actors , policy makers and academia with a view to thaw out teething problems in the sector.
The high panel conference (HiPCARK) was mooted in 2018 with the annual Berlin conference as key motivation that seeks to bring leading personalities in the sector under one roof to inspire discussions on demand driven agriculture research and come up with sound policies and interventions to emerging challenges to food security.