Monday, July 26, 2010

Will Kenya achieve food security?

Kenya seems to be on the right path of making sure we achieve food security and that we meet some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) such as reducing the number of people living below poverty lines to less than 25% by 2015 and reducing the food insecurity by 30%.

The Kenyan government has adopted the Agricultural Sector Development Strategy (ASDS) to be the overall national policy document to guide the sector ministries and all stakeholders in Agriculture. This document will be replacing the Strategy for Revitalizing Agriculture (SRA) which has been in force from 2004 to date (2010).

Some of the success of SRA was the adoption of farming as an enterprise mantra aka 'Kilimo biashara'. This saw policy makers selling the idea of farming as a viable business enterprise to farmers and a good enterprise for that matter. The success of this policy has seen a mind change in farmers attitudes about practicing agriculture from subsistence farming to commercial enterprise farming.

The new strategy has also taken into account the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) that recognizes agricultural's contribution to accelerated economic growth in Africa and that will require the finance ministry to allocate the Agricultural ministries 10% of the national budget from the current 8%. The signing of CAADP will also allow the country to access funding from the World Bank to finance this sector.
Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) work falls under 4 pillars.
These are:

  1. Land & water management
  2. Market access
  3. Food supply & hunger
  4. Agricultural research 
Perhaps what is left is establishment of a strong Monitoring and Evaluation team to access the impact of this new policy plus check that the funding streams into this sector are well used. Furthermore, an operational data collecting entity to track the growth on the ground. 

Useful links:

  1. Kenya eyes food security status
  2. Kibaki launches agricultural development strategy
  3. The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) website
  4. ASCU-Kenya website
  5. Ministry of Agriculture (kilimo) website
  6. European Union to finance agricultural programmes in Kenya
  7. President Kibaki launches Kenya Agricultural Sector Development Strategy(ASDS)

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