Lamu County to participate in next years ASK Mombasa Show

A show goer takes some photos of a tomatoes exhibition farm at the Mombasa International Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) show at Mkomani grounds. [Gideon Maundu/Standard]
The County Government of Lamu will next year make a comeback presence in the annual  Mombasa International Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) show after being absent for two years.

Speaking when he presided over the closure of this years show yesterday, Lamu Governor, Mr Fahim Twaha said that they will be participating in the event next year after staying away for two years.

'' We have come and seen the advanced technological innovations on display here by various agencies. The Agricultural shows form an important forum for farmers and all those involved in agri- business to learn new tricks,'' Twaha who was accompanied by his County Executive in charge of Land and Physical Planning, Ms Fahima Arafat and Chief Officer Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock, Ms Fatma Baasba said.

At the same time, Twaha said that they will be meeting with ASK National office to help the county come up with a county show.

'' As we make a comeback to the Mombasa Show, we shall also be having our own county show to appraise farmers of modern farming techniques to boost yields,'' he said.

And Mombasa Show chairperson, Ms Anisa Abdalah thanked the Lamu Governor for pledging to make a comeback to the event in 2019.

'' Despite the evolution of devolved system of government, we still want to ensure that all the six counties that make up the former Coast province parade what they have in terms of agricultural products and innovations come and participate in our international show which has continued to grow from strength to strength,'' Anisa said.

Lamu Governor Fahim Twaha selects a shirt from an exhibitor as he toured some of the exhibition stands at the Mombasa International Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) at Mkomani. [Gideon Maundu/Standard]
In the meantime, ASK announced that it is developing its 2018-2022 Strategic Master plan in which it seeks to reposition itself as a key enabler of the Kenyan agro-economy.

The society is also putting a brave face over absence of some key government ministries and agencies at the annual ASK Mombasa International Show which opens its doors to the public today upto September 2nd, 2018.

Tourism and Wildlife Ministry, Kenya Maritime Authority, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) and the National Lands Commission (NLC) are among those that missed out.

'' We have been in touch with these government agencies that are not participating this year. It is understood that some had informed us a bit earlier on their unavailability due to structural adjustments taking place within the organisations,'' ASK CEO, Mr Batram Muthoka said.

He added that the missing firms have assured them that they will be taking part in the 2019 Show edition and even asked to be allowed to keep their stand plots intact.

Speaking exclusively to The Standard at the Mombasa ASK Show on Monday, Muthoka said that as part of the strategic plan, they have identified four thematic areas for implementation as they turn around the fortunes of the society.

He named them as exhibitions, membership, outreach and institutional capacities.

'' In the same breath, we have identified strategic objectives where the society envisages to achieve within the planned period and help grow the number of exhibitors across the board to average 50 per cent within the planned period,'' the CEO said.

He added that as part of the reform plans, ASK was also keen to have the number of show goers grow and double to reach 100 per cent as well as increase the number of agri -related activities in all the four ASK shows of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru respectively.

Lamu Governor Fahim Twaha officially closed the five day ASK exhibition show. [Gideon Maundu/Standard]
'' The most crucial asset we have as ASK is land on where our shows are held annual. We are looking forward to have other five activities take place all year round so as to make our facilities busy throughout the year,'' Muthoka said.

He emphasized that ASK is banking on increased utilisation of all the ASK assets for the betterment of the Society.

'' Already ,we have the mixed use development plan for phase 1 that encompasses Jamhuri Park Show in Nairobi complete while phase II that brings together Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru is 50 per cent done already,'' he said.

Muthoka said that future development envisage shall include expo hall, office space rentals, hospitality and restaurant and sporting events.

Among government agencies that partici[pated included the Kenya National Highways Authority (KenHA) ,Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak), Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Railways, County Government of Mombasa and Ajab Grain Millers.

Others include Technical University of Mombasa (TUM), Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco), Coast Development Authority (CDA), Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), Kenya Dairy Board.

This years Show theme was ‘Promoting Innovation and Technology in Agriculture and Trade'.

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Technical University of MombasaKenya Marine Fisheries Research InstituteNational Lands CommissionKenya Wildlife ServiceMombasa International Agricultural Society of KenyaLamu Governor Fahim