State to invest more in food security plans, Uhuru says

Kenya will now rely on innovation and technology to ensure the country is food secure, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

Speaking during the official opening of the Nairobi International Trade Fair yesterday, the President also said the Government will invest in youth agricultural programmes to ensure food security.

This, he said, was informed by the fact the average age of a Kenyan farmer is 59 years while the average age of the consumer is 17 years.

“In order to foster the participation of the youth in agriculture, my government has prioritized the creation and adoption of programmes that ease access to land, finance, mechanisation and knowledge among our youth,” said Uhuru.

The Head of State said the Government is prioritising access to affirmative action funds for youth, women and persons living with disabilities so as to avail the capital needed by these special groups to establish enterprises in agriculture.

He said the agricultural sector remains strong and assured the government will continue strengthening it by leveraging on established policies.

Food supply

“No nation can claim to be developed without having a secure, affordable and easily accessible food supply,” Uhuru said.

Our strategy is to ensure there is increased income for farmers through value addition.”

Uhuru said the Government has continued to promote access to Agricultural Technical Vocational Education Training learning opportunities, under the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme.

Uhuru was accompanied by Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko and Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri.

Mr Sonko who announced plans to transform Uhuru Market in Nairobi into a textile centre of excellence, said his administration is revamping retail markets in the city to empower small scale traders especially those dealing in agricultural produce.

Mr Kiunjuri thanked the President for his commitment to the development of the agriculture sector saying his ministry is implementing various programmes aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity in the country.