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Murang’a, Nairobi Counties explore partnership in agriculture

Murang’a and Nairobi County Governments are exploring modalities to partner in establishment of markets for agricultural produce in a bid to foster economic growth through market development, trade facilitation, and cooperative initiatives.

The Murang’a County administration has indicated that the move will ensure food for health sourcing partnership promotion and regulation of a sustainable and resilient food system for food and nutrition security.

Murang’a County Executive Committee (CEC) Member for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Kiringai Kamau has said the collaboration is motivated by a need to ensure the two counties build a sustainable food system that efficiently delivers food from source to consumer.

Speaking at Murang’a county headquarter offices after a consultative meeting with the Nairobi CEC Member for Environment, Water, Food and Agriculture Ibrahim Nyangoya and other county officials, Dr Kiringai said the partnership seeks to discuss and reach mutual agreements on matters pertaining to the smooth, efficient and sustainable supply and distribution of food from Murang’a to Nairobi county.

Dr Kiringai divulged that at production level, Nairobi county produces between 18 to 20 percent of its food and thus it is an end market of many regions, including Murang’a County which supply produce from their farming activities.

“Nairobi serves as an end-market for many regions, with at least 30 out of 47 counties (Murang’a included) and four foreign countries supplying food to the city,” he said adding that a food system is the intricate path that food traverses from production to distribution, processing and consumption

He said other suggested areas of partnerships include linkage to consumer market, types and quantities of food available for Nairobi market, branded food farmacies, agroecology and organic food system policy among others which ensures food safety from farm to people.

“Through the study of our food systems, we are aware of a number of factors that imply that we must work with other counties through meaningful partnerships in order to ensure consistent food security for our people,” he said.

On his part, Nyangoya lauded the move saying that Murang’a County underscores the significance of their partnership, given its pivotal role as one of their major food and water suppliers.

He divulged that the county’s local food production is not sufficient due to competitive use of land forcing them to outsource most of their foods and produce to achieve food security in the county.

“The current population of Nairobi metro area is 6.54 million and is growing at a rate of 4 percent which translates to growing rate faster than production,” he said adding that the county has embraced a food system strategy to ensure food sustainability.

He said the strategy aims to achieve food security by increasing food production, ensuring stable food supply and incomes, reducing food losses, and enhancing the welfare of food consumers.

Murang’a Director for Policy and Strategy Daniel Gitahi said the proposed partnership on how the county can sustainably supply healthy food to Nairobi County is a positive indicator on a projection of the country’s economic growth.

“The two counties will develop a working framework of action to ensure that we can organise our farmers into co-operatives to be able to supply specific markets for cereals, vegetables, coffee, milk among other produce that are grown sustainably to Nairobi,” said Gitahi.

He divulged that the county has a digital platform dubbed IfoodSOS that integrates food systems that will ensure delivery of sustainable supply of healthy foods to Nairobi County

“We have already done mapping of markets in Nairobi County and we have characterised them in terms of supply and demand and pricing,” he said, adding that the digital platform underscores the interconnections of the county’s service delivery efforts.

The delegation, which comprised representatives from the Green Nairobi Sector and Murang’a department of Agriculture, visited Mukarara farm in Kangema, Murang’a Coffee Mills and Murang’a Co-operative Creameries in Maragua to witness production efforts of the county government.

By Anita Omwenga

 

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