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Netherlands Queen leads new push for climate-smart agriculture

Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands has vouched for climate-smart agriculture to boost food security in the country.

The Queen, who is visiting the county in her capacity as the United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s special advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) said that through climate-smart agriculture, farmers would be able to weather through the shocks of climate change, drought, and floods and get better yields.

Speaking during a courtesy call with Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o, the Queen said the venture required funding to support farmers, calling on the government and other players in the sector to leverage the digital finance platforms to bridge the gap.

Climate-smart agriculture, she said, was the new frontier in building resilience and enhancing food security, adding that it requires proper financing, which can be enhanced through digital platforms.

She lauded the penetration of digital financial services in the country, which she said has reached 80% of the population.

The focus, she said, must shift to how farmers can benefit from digital financial services to venture into climate-smart agriculture and boost food security.

“We shall look at how best we can support the digital finance services to be able to convey this,” she said.

The Queen toured various projects funded by the UN and the Dutch government in Kisumu, adding that the partnership shall be strengthened to unlock more development projects in the area.

The projects she visited include the Vei Waterworks sanitation project in Manyatta and the Hello Tractor Project in Rabuor.

Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyongo lauded the partnership between the devolved unit and the Dutch Government saying it has helped improve sanitation and roll out climate smart agriculture initiatives in the area.

“The Manyatta project is very important to us because it has made it possible for the residents to get clean, purified water and the faecal sludge used to make fertiliser. This is more like a double-edged sword where we get clean water and fertiliser from what would have been dangerous,” he said.

The Hello Tractor Project, which is an agri-tech tractor sharing application, he said, has connected farmers through the internet and helped bridge the gap between traditional farming and more technologically advanced approaches.

By Chris Mahandara

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