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Government secures funding to train farmers on safe food production

BUSINESS
By Moses Omusolo | Apr 19th 2019 | 2 min read
By Moses Omusolo | April 19th 2019
BUSINESS
The International Agricultural Development Fund (IFAD) Director of Independent evaluation office Oscar Garcia (third from left) and his delegation from Rome admiring a cabbage shamba at Muruka village , Kirinyaga county when the IFAD projects were being evaluated The shamba owner is a beneficiary of the funds from the organisation.PHOTO;Munene Kamau/standard

Kenya has won the support of the Danish Government and the European Union (EU) to roll out a five-year programme to train farmers on safe food production. The offer comes at a time when the country is suffering from rising cases of food-related diseases owing to poor handling, driven by loopholes in the food value chain.

Micro Enterprises Support Programme Trust (MESPT) acting Chief Executive Charles Nyawade said the Agriculture Financing Initiative (AgriFi) food safety programme will be supported by EU to the tune of Sh572 million.

He said the initiative aims at reaching all stakeholders in the agriculture and food value chains with relevant knowledge and skills on clean food production methods.

“The AgriFi initiative focuses on food safety in dairy, horticulture and aquaculture value chains and we aim at strengthening the capacities of actors along selected value chains through the Agricultural Technical and Vocational Training system approach,” he said.

He was speaking during the unveiling of the fund on in Nairobi on Wednesday. Mr Nyawade said the programme aims at increasing the capacity of the private sector and counties to develop and enforce standards on food safety with focusing on animal and plant health.

“On aquaculture, the AgriFi programme aims to bring food safety sanity in areas of input supplies, production sites, harvesting, handling and interrelated activities to phase out possible contaminations,” he said. MESPT will initially work with up to 13 counties including Nyandarua, Nakuru, Kiambu, as well as Embu.

Others will be Kirinyaga, Meru, Makueni, Machakos, Kilifi, Migori, Kisii, Kakamega, as well as Bungoma. Danish Embassy Deputy Head of Mission to Kenya Henrik Larsen said the safety programme builds on the premise of a skillset gap among value chain actors that have affected their competitiveness.

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