By KBC Reporters
President Uhuru Kenyatta will officially open the four-day African Green Revolution Forum that is set to kick-off in Nairobi from Monday.
The historic gathering will include hundreds of influential leaders and CEOs and is also expected to award the newly established Africa Food prize.
The forum will bring on board different players in the Agricultural sector to advance policies and secure the investments that will ensure improved living standards for millions of African farmers and their families.
Dr. Joe DeVries, Project Manager at the African Green Revolution Forum, says the meeting will give governments, donors and private partners an opportunity to explore the prospects of investing more in agriculture and reach out to more farmers in the future.
He said AGRA has invested heavily in breeding of new seed varieties that are of higher yield and are drought and disease resistant as well as invested in education.
“So far AGRA has nurtured about 600 young African Scientists and here in Machakos we are supporting farmers in development of new varieties”, Dr. DeVries said.
Agriculture in Kenya directly contributes about 30 per cent of the GDP and another 25 per cent indirectly and is a source of 75 per cent of industrial raw materials.
It further accounts for 65 per cent of Kenya’s total exports, and provides 18 per cent and 60 per cent of the formal and total employment.
The AGRF meeting that has attracted over 1,500 delegates will be officially opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta with the major highlight of the meeting being the inaugural award of the new Africa Food Prize which was created to call attention to individuals and institutions that are inspiring and driving agriculture innovations that can be replicated throughout Africa.
During the meeting, the landmark annual African Agriculture Status Report which this year will chronicle agricultural progress on the continent over the last decade and suggest strategies toward accelerated economic growth and development through agricultural transformation will also be launched.
The gathering will also be an opportunity to highlight the best elements of Africa’s agriculture, the changes that are allowing farming families to lift themselves out of poverty by embracing farming as a business, quickly, efficiently, and at the speed and scale required to secure Africa’s rise through an agricultural transformation.
The sixth, Africa’s largest agricultural forum, will be held at a time when an unprecedented number of leaders in both African and donor countries are signaling that agricultural development is essential to Africa’s long-term economic growth.
The forum will be held only a few days after the country played host to the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Nairobi.
Edited by Margaret Kalekye