The government has reached a resolution with the Council of Governors (CoG) to formulate a 17 point agenda to spur agricultural sector towards a food secured nation.
A joint Agriculture Sector Intergovernmental Secretariat shall work to develop an action plan for implementation of these resolutions.
The proposal was arrived at during the 5th Special intergovernmental Forum on Agriculture (IGF-A) held at the Windsor that brought on board the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Ministry of Mining Maritime and Blue Economy , Council of Governors , Development Partners and Agriculture Sector Network (ASNET).
The forum worked on modalities to strengthen the two levels of government and harmonize donor engagements in the sector to thaw out duplication of roles and establish a seamless working formula.
Speaking earlier at the opening of the meeting, Agriculture and Livestock Development Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi said that the government together with partners and the private sector will continue to invest in the agriculture sector to ensure food security and surplus production for export was realized.
He asked the County governments to fully embrace the initiative by allocating more resources to the agriculture sector.
The government, the CS said, was committed to the initiatives to facilitate rapid growth, employment creation, investment opportunities and putting in place appropriate policies and legislation to encourage commercial production of agricultural produce.
“Deliberating today on how the two levels of government and partners will work together to boost food security towards economic growth and this forum provides an opportunity for key players to interact, share ideas, harmonize policy and establish effective and efficient strategic partnerships that will tackle the cyclic food crisis and attain food and nutrition security for our people”, Linturi said.
He said the meeting comes at the right time when there was already a jointly developed clear roadmap of working harmoniously as one team through a technical team formed comprising 7 members to spearhead the process of reviewing all the policy and legal issues in the agricultural sector.
The committee came about after the Ministry and the Council of Governors Agricultural Committee met on 28th November 2022 to address areas of cooperation and was tasked to present their findings after four weeks in today’s forum for deliberations.
Council of Governors (CoG) Chairperson Anne Waiguru who read the resolutions said they were committed to work with the national government to resolve areas of contention especially on legislation and regulations in the sector within the next three months.
“Agriculture Ministry and County governments will collaborate to streamline exploitation of minerals in the country, expedite the implementation of reforms in sugar, tea and coffee sectors especially fast tracking the process of privatization of sugar factories and to ensure farmers are consulted to reduce litigation”, she said
The chairperson further noted that they place appropriate measures to address current challenges in agriculture production to ensure the country becomes food secure and increase the net export in the short run, committing to moving the 2 million chronically food insecure to food secure.
“Together we will support revitalization of functional farmer support systems, roll out e-voucher to enhance access to farm input and other services to enhance their production”, Waiguru said.
Other resolutions, the chairperson mentioned was increasing budget allocation to agriculture and livestock sector, collaborating in digital farmer registration through the County Ward Agriculture officers and also transition agriculture from rain fed to irrigated agriculture.
“The national and county governments with other partners will work towards developing 100 dams for irrigation across various parts of the Country, strengthen extension services and also create a dedicated livestock development authority, undertake a comprehensive livestock census to facilitate government plans to cushion producers from the impacts of drought”, she said.
Waiguru further expounded saying both levels of governments will implement soil management policy and promote the use of organic fertilizers to improve soil health.
The meeting deliberated on a shared vision, clarifying roles to boost National Food Security and Economic Growth through exploring Strategic Partnership investment opportunities to strengthen institutions and service delivery at the national and county levels.
By Wangari Ndirangu