By Stanley Wabomba
According to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett, the various food production measures put in place by the government are adequate.
Bett, who was speaking during the State House Agriculture Summit, noted that the government is also focusing on reducing the cost of food production by among others subsidizing farm inputs, availing credit as well as helping farmers diversify to other crops besides maize.
Agriculture has been one of the drivers of the country’s economy, contributing about 30 percent to the Gross Domestic Product.
Nonetheless many farmers have decried the high cost of production which has in turn resulted to the high cost of food in the market.
Agriculture CS Willy Bett reckons the government has been providing various incentives to farmers like subsidized fertilizer and seeds to help reduce the cost of production.
But while the government is keen on encouraging more youth to engage in farming activities, funding for the agriculture sector has been low mainly due to a requirement for collateral by most financial institutions.
The government, through the Youth Fund, is expected to address this.
In the recent past, Kenyans condemned the influx of cheap fish imports from China, which has been seen as a stumbling block to local fishermen. However, the government insists Kenya does not have sufficient fish due to the over-exploitation of fish reserves especially at Lake Victoria.
Kenya has been investing in Irrigation, and though there have been delays in implementation of major projects such as the Galana Irrigation Scheme, Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa notes that currently, there are 483,000 acres under irrigation in the various schemes across the country, a figure that is expected to double to 1.2 million acres.
Farmers have however been urged to embraced mechanized agriculture to improve productivity.
The government is also keen on enhancing livestock insurance services to farmers to mitigate loses as a result of various factors in addition to providing additional milk coolers to farmers across the country.