The Government will embrace Agriculture Technology (AgriTech) to create an enabling environment for agricultural development.
The Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary (CS), Mwangi Kiunjuri said the country was beginning to ride on a new wave of AgriTech revolution with skyrocketing cellular subscriptions of 28.3 mobile subscribers translating to a 60 percent penetration.
The CS added that the country’s sh100 billion tech-hub was the home of hundreds of innovators, as well as global technology firms who can raise Agricultural productivity and rural incomes through modernisation of agriculture in Kenya.
Kiunjuri made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by State Department of Fisheries, Principal Secretary (PS), Prof. Micheni Ntiba during a conference on Disruptive Agricultural Technology (DAT).
He added that for the country to achieve agricultural development, Agritech innovation must be done in a different way by providing solutions to key constraints faced by farmers.
The CS added that agricultural technology revolution is aligned with the strategic objectives of the Ministry and allows Kenya to create an enabling environment for agricultural development increasing productivity and output in the sector hence enhancing food security.
Kiunjuri reiterated that the focus of this innovation had been smallholder agriculture which is in line with Kenya Vision 2030.
“Vision 2030 reiterates the importance of transforming smallholder subsistence agriculture into an innovative, commercially oriented and modern action,” added the CS.
He went on to say that AgriTech innovations will help achieve the first flagship goal of Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGD) 2019-2029, which aims at increasing small scale farmers’ income with 1 million farmers being targeted.
The PS Crops and Research, Prof. Hamadi Boga emphasized that the government in partnership with the World bank had come up with the AgriTech initiative to boost the Agriculture sector countrywide.
“We have the agricultural transformation strategy where we have highlighted six pillars key to the transformation of agriculture in the country.
This will enable the government to reach out to one million small-scale farmers and support them with an ecosystem to increase their incomes,” he said.
He reiterated that the government had established a subsidy programme for small scale farmers aimed at supplying inputs such as fertilizer and seeds.
Boga added that the government was also dealing with agro-processing as well as large scale farming which were key to promoting the agricultural sector.
“We have developed a strategy whereby we are presenting six agro processing zones to support the development of agricultural sector,” he said.
The Council of Governors Chairman, Wycliffe Oparanya said agriculture transformation was key to accelerating agriculture “and thus our hope lies in the digitization and innovation of agriculture in counties.
Oparanya whose speech was read by Mary Nzomo, the County Executive Committee of Agriculture in Trans Nzoia said many organisations, including Counties were keen on catalyzing Agricultural transformation.
By Judith Mshimba/Mary Seleyian