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Linturi calls for urgent global action to combat climate change

 Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi (centre) flanked by the Kenyan delegation during FAO council meeting in Rome, Italy. [Nanjinia Wamuswa, Standard]

Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi has called for urgent action in combating climate change effects that have led to drought and other disasters globally.

Linturi made the remarks during the ongoing United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Council meeting in Rome, Italy.

The Cabinet Secretary called on the international community to defeat hunger and malnutrition by transforming agriculture in the face of changing climatic conditions.

“We must take urgent measures to combat climate change because the extreme climate change events being witnessed globally have compromised food security even in the developed world.

"Development partners should work with governments to address food insecurity that has affected millions,” said Linturi.

He said the government is determined to ensure Kenyans are food secure.

“M ministry has embarked on distribution of relief supplies and cash transfers to 4.5 million Kenyans who are affected by drought in 23 arid and semi-arid counties,” he added.

The government and development partners are involved in distribution of livestock feeds, livestock off-take measures, expansion and rehabilitation of water resources and enhanced animal health administration to combat drought.

The government is also engaging stakeholders to lower the cost of inputs, provide affordable financing and secure markets for agricultural produce.

“My ministry will work closely with FAO other strategic partners as we implement long-term measures to combat drought that has led to loss of lives and livestock,” said the CS.

Linturi called on the adaptation of technology to boost food security globally.

“If we are to address food challenges expeditiously then efficiency and effectiveness must be the hallmark of our agri-food systems. The use of technology is key to achieving efficiency, safety, transparency and avoiding waste.

Others in the Kenyan delegation for the week-long meeting, include Livestock Development Permanent Secretary Harry Kimutai, Council of Governors Agriculture Committee Chairman and Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka, National Assembly’s Agriculture and Livestock Vice Chairperson Leonard Yegon, and committee member Sabina Chege.

According to Agriculture ministry, about 4.5 million Kenyans face starvation and over 2.5 million livestock has already been lost.

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