State, partners urged to focus on production to combat child hunger

World Vision Program Officer, Livelihoods and Resilience Benard Owino left showcase various products they have to Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa at Bukura Agricultural Training College in Kakamega County during the World Food Day.[Benard Lusigi,Standard]

National and County governments and development partners have been urged to ensure they put in place good measures that will ensure there is enough production of food to end child hunger and malnutrition.

Speaking during the World Food Day that was held at Bukura Agriculture Training College in Lurambi Constituency Kakamega County, Benard Owino, Program Officer, Livelihoods and Resilience at World Vision said individual efforts and collective action are required to ensure food security and children's access to nutritious food.

“In today’s celebration the theme sinks in very well with our campaign dubbed ‘Enough Campaign’ which is a call for both local and national government and partners to work together and ensure there is collective action in ensuring we end child hunger and malnutrition, “said Owino.

“Being a child-based organization we are aware that children are the brunt of the unequal food systems which have been disrupted by climate change, conflict, and of course disasters. We know there is water scarcity and that is why as an organization we are partnering with communities, governments, and partners to ensure that communities can mitigate water scarcity, “said Owino.

Owino reiterated the need to have farmers educated on how to use water prudently in farming to increase food production stating that they’re focusing on Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs).

Owino said in 37 out of 47 counties they are working from, they have been able to educate communities to mitigate against water scarcity and ensure they use water efficiently by having drip irrigation, storing water, and using seeds that can meet the prevailing weather conditions.

“These are the forgotten areas and we are looking at what potential crops the communities have in terms of what can survive based on the prevailing weather conditions indeed we have been able to grow cassava, potato, and other crops in the areas of Baringo, Turkana, and Narok empowering every household on sustainable agribusiness," he added.

The event themed  "Water is life, water is food, leave no one behind" was attended by partners including Food and Agriculture Organization, World Vision JLIfad, GIZ, Biovision Africa Trust, World Food Programme, and the national government among others.

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa acknowledged the need to enhance the subsidy program as he committed to enhancing access to farm inputs, seeds, fertilizers, and mechanization services his administration has invested over Sh713M in subsidized farm inputs.

Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) Representative to Kenya Carla Mucavi noted that World Food Day 2023 highlights how water is essential for life on earth and its centrality to food production.

“We make a rallying call for everyone to acknowledge the importance of managing water resources wisely as various factors threaten the availability of the precious commodity,” Mucavi said.

Permanent Secretary for Livestock Jonathan Mueke said the Kenya Kwanza government is keen on irrigation policies and mitigating effects of climate change in ensuring there is maximum production of food.

"We want to employ the use of modern technology in doing our farming so that we can make use of available water as a commodity and that is why we are focusing on subsidized farm inputs to our farmers to reduce the cost of production," said Mueke