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Kenya

CS Kiunjuri calls for more funding of agriculture

Kiunjuri said the socio-economic transformation of the country is driven by agriculture/FILE

MOMBASA, Kenya, May 8 – Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has said there is need for increased funding if the agricultural sector.

Kiunjuri said the socio-economic transformation of the country is driven by agriculture.

Speaking during a one-day consultative meeting between the Council of Governor’s and the Ministry of Agriculture at Sai Rock Hotel Mombasa, Kiunjuri said it is impossible to revolutionise agriculture without adequate resources.

“The socio-economic transformation will not be achieved if financing of the agriculture is not increased. It is not possible to revolutionise agriculture, as envisioned in the Agriculture Sector Growth Strategy to be implemented in the next 10 years, without resources,” he said on Wednesday.

Kiunjuri challenged both levels of government; county and national government, to work together to achieve food security.

However, the CoG accused the National Government of clinging onto agriculture, which is already a devolved function according to the Constitution.

According to the governors, it is difficult for Kenya to achieve food security unless the national government relinquishes all agricultural functions and increase funding to the sector.

CoG chair Wycliffe Oparanya said some officers in the Ministry of Agriculture are holding onto functions like operations of the National Cereals and Produce Board, the Kenya Dairy Board, the Agriculture and Food Authority functions, and administration of the farmers’ input subsidy.

“We are all in consensus that the current mode of procuring and distributing farm inputs has been highly inefficient and ineffective. he bulk procurement of fertilizer does not match soil and crop preparedness and hence inconveniencing farmers,” he said.

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Muthomi Njuki, the Tharaka-Nithi Governor, said all pending agriculture regulations including tea, coffee, sugar cane, dairy industry, nuts and oil, food industry and horticulture regulations, should be fast-tracked.

He said the counties need additional financing for the Big Four agenda, especially in the food security pillar.

“Food security should be given additional funding because counties are facing financial challenges,” said Njuki.

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana said the national government and the county governments should work together more, especially in the agricultural sector.

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