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Outdated laws blamed on low food production

FINANCIAL STANDARD
By | January 4th 2011

By Fredrick Obura

Lack of coordination and a clear structure on sharing of resources among ministries is to blame for low food production in the country, a research body has said.

The Africa Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) said the Government needs to review its laws to allow for inter-ministerial collaboration on the sharing of resources proportionately across board.

"Our potential in producing sufficient food lies in the sharing of resources and knowledge among ministries. They should complement each other and they need to be liberated to transact their business freely for instance share resources across board," said Judi Wakhungu, the Executive Director of the firm. According to Prof Wakhungu, the problem with the country’s policies is that they are not blended to allow a minister in the agriculture, for instance, to sit in environment ministry or energy.

"This approach is impeding growth. We need not to be tied up by old rules," she said.

"We are petitioning the Government to amend its laws to allow inter-ministerial collaboration, this would promote sharing of resources freely," she said.

The study urged the State to open up the innovation space through friendly policies to allow entrepreneurs invest in key sectors like telecommunication and energy-the key ingredients to food production.

The report, to be published by the Oxford University reveals that Africa can make the transition from hungry importer to self-sufficiency in a single generation.

According to Harvard professor Caleostus Juma, the report presented a "clear" prescription for transforming the continent’s agriculture and by doing so, its economy.

He said the strategy calls on Governments to make African agricultural expansion central to decision making.

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