Germany to fund Kenya's agricultural sector transformation

When President William Ruto visited a maize demo farm during an Agricultural show. [File, Standard]

Kenyan farmers will benefit from Germany’s funding aimed at transforming the agricultural sector to boost food and nutrition security.

Agriculture and Livestock Development Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi said the German government has committed to fund Kenya's Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS).

Speaking in Berlin, Germany where he’s leading the Kenyan delegation in the ongoing 2023 Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), Mr Linturi expressed optimism that Kenyan farmers will gain from the deal targeting small scale farmers in rural areas.

The CS said the government strategy prioritises three anchors to drive the ten-year transformation which include; increase small-scale farmer, pastoralist and fisher folk incomes, increase agricultural output and value addition and boost household food resilience.

‘‘The broad objective of these programmes is to enhance food security and drought resilience, increase incomes, employment creation as well as women and youth empowerment,’’ said Linturi.

He has also hailed Kenya’s relations with Germany since independence in 1963 especially aid from the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) which he said has led to a positive impact in the agricultural sector.

“Over the years, the programmes and projects under GIZ Agriculture and Rural Development have continued to play a key role in contributing towards actualisation of achieving Food and Nutrition Security and improved livelihoods in Kenya,’’ he said.

He said the partnership will accelerate attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from a local perspective, innovative ways of tackling climate crisis and biodiversity losses, increase resources for agriculture programmes, increase farmer productivity and food systems transformation agenda.

The CS also appealed to the German government to consider supporting a comprehensive National Agricultural Soil Management upon approval of the Agriculture Soil Management Policy.

“There has been smooth implementation of the GIZ programs and we highly appreciate the cordial diplomatic relations and close partnership between Kenya and Germany over the years. We appreciate the good gesture and we’ll also seek for support to implement the National Agricultural Soil Management policy in order to manage our soil,” Linturi requested.

The meeting was also attended by the Germany State Secretary for the Ministry of Economic and Development Cooperation, Dr Barbel Koflrr, Head of GIZ division Agriculture and Rural Development, Cristel Weller-Molongua, the Chairperson parliamentary committee on food and Agriculture in Germany, Hermann Farber, the President of German-Africa Foundation, Dr Uschi Eid, Programme Director GIZ Kenya, Armin Kloeckner among others.

Weller assured Linturi that GIZ will continue to support Kenya implement drought resilience measures.

“We want to help transform agriculture in Kenya through our agency to ensure rural women are empowered since they are the backbone of rural farming,” Weller said.

On his part, Farber stated that shared knowledge programme for youth between the two countries, will give the Kenyan youth employment and encourage them to practice agriculture.

Germany has continued to fund projects and programmes in the framework of bilateral Kenyan-German Development Cooperation especially in agriculture and rural development, climate change, health and water, water resource management and sanitation.

Linturi further outlined the ongoing agricultural programmes that have been funded and supported by the Germany government and GIZ, which he said will help Kenya achieve food and nutrition security by 2030.

Among them is provision of resources used for development of the Agricultural Soil Management Policy to be tabled before the Cabinet in February, youth employment in the Agri-food (YEA), Agri-Jobs 4 Youth Initiative, Green Innovation centres for agriculture and food sector, soil protection and rehabilitation for food security and nutrition-sensitive Potato Partnership Project.

Others are Coffee Innovation Fund, Global Low Carbon Tea- Triangular Cooperation between China, Germany and Kenya on Tea Value Chain in Kenya, Green Innovation Centres (GIAE) for the Agriculture and Food Sector, Water and Energy for Food.

The 2023 GFFA will build on the UN Food Systems Summit to ensure the 2030 SDGs are realised.

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