How agriculture and technology can transform our country
By Harrison Mwirigi Ikunda
| June 6th 2017
As a person who keeps a very keen eye on the media, I end up following up on many debates locally and across the globe. Some of them out of personal interest and the other bit due to the effects of various issues in our country and other people on the globe.
Some are also to enhance right advocacy activities with the right amount of knowledge. One issue of keen interest at the moment is the discussions on the clean energy and other matters of trying to mitigate or stop the growth of global warming or matters climate change.
With this in mind, I have had a chance to visit a few farmers near Nairobi especially in Kiambu County to learn a bit knowing very well it is one of those areas where farming is taken seriously.
Agriculture in my view will still remain quite relevant to Kenya in matters employment and sustaining livelihoods for a very long period of time.The Dairy industry, for instance, is here to stay and will have to grow to sustain the growing demands of dairy products.
After all with the rapid urbanisation, people need to feed anyway and someone has to grow those crops and keep the animals to take of that. The surge in middle-class lifestyle also means it is one of the industries that can’t be ignored.
Studying rural areas using some of the places I have visited in the past and lately, there is also a need of a makeover. I’m highlighting this knowing very well that as much as urbanisation is intensifying we will still have a significant number of people living in rural areas even in the next 100 years.
Moreover, there will be people practicing agriculture in future if we have to sustain life with all its demands that include food and energy. I have deliberately included energy here as the need for it is increasing in intensity.
This means then strategies to sustain productivity and livelihoods in rural Kenya are as important as it is in managing urbanisation where the cry for the latter is we avoid creating slum population and to provide decent housing and jobs.
Nonetheless, to make it sustainable in rural areas the adequacy in food, improving incomes and having a source of clean and affordable energy becomes apparently important and urgent.
I’m studying the case of biogas and ability to turn around the fortunes of rural areas and as a complementary to connection to the national grid in the provision of energy for various domestic use.
As a matter of advocacy anything that makes life easier and less stressful should be embraced. Knowing very well the distribution of the population in the country plus the various income needs which impact on areas of food and energy there is a lot to do for this country.
Luckily being privileged to have visited some other countries in the third world especially in Africa, I see a lot of things that can easily work in Kenya. Kenyans being early adapters to matters technology is something quite positive and impactful.
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