NAIROBI– The Kenyan government, in partnership with the European Union (EU), is investing 5.26 billion shillings (about 52 million US dollar) sin a value chain programme to help mainly small scale farmers in enhancing food security, creating jobs, raising incomes and enhancing market access.
The success of two pillars of the government’s focus areas — food security and manufacturing — depends on the success of the agriculture value chain which ensures that smallholder farmers are accommodated within a functional agriculture sub-sector.
The government hopes to achieve this through agro-processing as well as adding value to cotton and skins and hides.
In the next fiscal year, the State plans to reduce post-harvest losses from 20 per cent to 15 per cent by enhancing market distribution infrastructure and providing incentives for the introduction of post-harvest technologies.
Speaking at the launch of the EU-funded Support to Productive, Adapted and Market Integrated Smallholder Agriculture (AgriFi Kenya) programme here Wednesday, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Mwangi Kiunjuri said the sector was capable of success by reducing post-harvest losses by 30 per cent.
He noted that the freeze on employment directed by the World Bank in the 1980s and 1990s impacted the agriculture sector negatively since it removed farmer education programmes which were necessary for knowledge transfer. The government plans to recruit more than 3,000 agricultural extension workers to help address the knowledge gap, he added.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK