Govt to classify farmers

April 5, 2011
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5 – The Ministry of Agriculture is set to introduce a classification system for farmers as it seeks to improve the quality of farming in the country.

The move is geared towards categorising farmers by the nature of business they undertake to assist the ministry in developing sub-sector specific interventions to advance the level of agriculture in the country.

Agriculture Permanent Secretary Dr Romano Kiome said the initiative would change the perception of farming to make it a more commercially viable venture.

“We would like to move from the perception that agriculture is a subsistence way of enterprise to a modern, commercial way of living with a lot of value for the farmers involved,” Dr Kiome said.

To fast track the exercise, the Ministry of Agriculture will be carrying out a farmer census to identify the number of commercial farmers in the country.  According to Dr Kiome the census will enable the ministry distinguish between commercial and subsistence farmers who will receive different levels of assistance.

“For us to be able to target the interventions we can have with the farmers, we have to know them very well and what enterprise they are involved in. we want to classify them so that we can give them the right advice,” Dr Kiome said.

With the exercise, farmers will have to draft business plans, which they will present to the ministry for record keeping by June. The plan will entail the sector they are involved in and the acreage of their land devoted to the farming exercise.

The census exercise is expected to last until the end of the year.

Dr Kiome expects the classification to boost the level of interest in agriculture by making it more attractive which will in turn make the country food secure in future.

“We need to change the face of agriculture if we are going to get the desired results of feeding our people,” he said.

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