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Former food security adviser in Office of the President terms the country’s agriculture sector a mess

By Dominic Omondi | Published Wed, December 6th 2017 at 00:00, Updated December 5th 2017 at 21:52 GMT +3
Devolution of the agricultural sector has created confusion, with the national and county governments pulling in different directions. (Photo: Courtesy)

A former food security adviser in the Office of the President has termed the country’s agriculture sector a mess.

Dr James Nyoro, who was President Uhuru Kenyatta’s adviser, admitted on Monday that the devolution of the sector had created confusion, with the national and county governments pulling in different directions.

Nyoro, who is the current Kiambu deputy governor, said although agriculture had in theory been devolved, the national government still remained with a number of functions, creating confusion of roles. He blamed this on the failure to come up with a national master plan for key food commodities.

Teething problems

“When devolution was done, we did not particularly develop a master plan for the country so that the country could establish its own national targets for key food commodities,” Nyoro told a two-day biennial policy conference organised by agricultural policy think-tank Tegemeo at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett, in a speech read on by Dr Johnson Irungu, admitted there were teething problems during the transition.

“Following the promulgation of the Constitution in 2010, majority of the agriculture functions have been devolved to the county governments. The first term of the implementation was characterised by teething problems in transition to county government systems,” said Mr Bett.

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