Greenpeace Africa, an environmental lobby group has called for mainstreaming of transparency and accountability in the Agriculture sector following the sacking of former Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday.
The organization’s Senior Political Advisor Fredrick Njehu said the appointment of former Meru Governor Peter Munya to the docket should bring hope to millions of farmers who had almost given up after years of mismanagement of the sector thanks to entry of ruthless cartels and middlemen.
Njehu has noted that the entry of Munya in the powerful docket brings with it an aura of synergy and expertise given Munya’s sterling performance in the Agriculture docket while serving as governor between 2013 and 2017.
“The appointment of Peter Munya as the new cabinet secretary in charge of Agriculture, Livestock, and Cooperatives replacing the outgoing CS Mwangi Kiunjuri, is a decision that should bring hope to the millions of smallholder farmers in the country. This is a sector whose potential remains largely untapped. Hon. Munya is credited for stimulating the growth potential of Meru County during his tenure as the governor. He had an eye for the agriculture sector while at the helm of Meru County,” said the official through a press statement sent to newsrooms today.
The official nevertheless says Munya’s in-tray is already full with Kenya’s agriculture sector currently grappling with a myriad of challenges including low prices of agricultural goods, increased cost of production and lack of affordable credit that can boost production.
He further says the use of toxic chemicals in food production, dumping of cheap agricultural products and lack of coordination between national and county government institutions are some of the major challenges facing the sector and which need urgent redress.
Among radical changes announced by Uhuru on Tuesday include an aggressive paradigm shift that will see the revival of tea, coffee, and milk sectors that had suffered greatly from dwindling prices and driven many farmers out of business.
The President also directed that the Ministry of Agriculture ensure that the Tea Regulations 2019 incorporate measures that will bar anybody who is not a registered tea farmer from selling the commodity.
Uhuru also directed the Kenya Tea Development Authority to look into the possibility of the authority paying farmers no less than 50 per cent of their deliveries as monthly payments and the balance paid out as annual bonus.
Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organization that seeks to change attitudes and behavior, to protect and conserve the environment besides promoting enduring peace.
The organization was launched in 1971 when a group of concerned citizens were outraged by the United States government’s insistence on nuclear testing on the Alaskan island of Kamchatka.
The organization operates in 40 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Pacific and Africa.
By Samuel Maina