State and NGO in deal to boost food production

The Government and One Acre Fund, an non-governmental organisation, have agreed to collaborate to increase food security.

Deputy President William Ruto said the Government would support agricultural activities initiated by One Acre Fund in at least 22 counties where more than 400,000 small-scale farmers have benefited.

Dr Ruto spoke at St Patrick Ikonyero Secondary School in Lurambi sub-county where he graced a mini agriculture exhibition organised by the NGO.

“I will push for the signing of the country partnership agreement that will guarantee farmers not only affordable farm inputs but high quality seeds and fertiliser to ensure Kenya achieves food sufficiency,” he said.

The DP was reacting to demands by local leaders for waiver of VAT charged on farm input. Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe said the Government must provide an enabling environment for private players such as One Acre Fund whose Sh15 billion investment in the agriculture sector cannot be ignored.

His Webuye West counterpart Dan Wanyama said the NGO and others involved in agricultural activities deserve a rebate to be motivated.

In response, Ruto said the Government would remove all the hurdles in the way of strategic partners, including One Acre Fund.

He welcomed the Fund's bid to increase the number of farmers they support to at least one million by 2022. “However, I challenge the management of One Acre Fund to introduce alternative crops that will boost food production and promote cash crops for Kenyans to realise more profits out of the agriculture activities,” he said.

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