Food security boost as Kuria, Nyong’o ink Sh31b agriculture deal
For months this year, Kisumu like other parts of the Nyanza region has witnessed prolonged seasonal drought and massive crop failure due to a lack of rains.
With most farmers relying on raid-fed agriculture, the absence of rains for months signaled hunger and starvation in the coming months.
But now double benefits have hit the lakeside county. The rains are back and donors have chipped in to finance climate-smart agriculture to cushion farmers from the pangs of hunger.
Trade and Investment Cabinet Secretary, Moses Kuria and Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o signed the final phase of the Sh31 billion deal with UK investment firm United Green to revitalise agriculture in the lake region.
Kuria is leading a high-powered government delegation to London for the Economic Partnership Agreement and Investment meeting, that Kenya seeks to intensify pitches to investors. The financing deal with the UK investors will see the revival of fish production, cereal crops farming, cotton, and dairy in the region.
Nyong’o said the partnership with United Green was essential and will provide new markets for farmers in the rural areas of the region through the introduction of agri-fintech services.
The deal aims at exploring the new merchandised system of farming to bolster agricultural production and improve farmers’ yields for both local consumption and global exports. The governor said they will use climate-smart farming and state-of-the-art agro-industrial facilities to create new markets for farmers in the Lake Victoria Basin
This, they intend to achieve in the next three to five years and is aimed at reducing the overreliance on trade imports. This is if the rains improve.
United Green Investment officer Albrecht Frischenschlager said the new partnership will use modern farming technologies to help farmers.
Early in the year, Nyong’o visited President William Ruto at the State House and got the nod to go ahead with the project that comes in the wake of growing bilateral ties between Kenya and the UK government. Kuria hoped that farmers will grow more crops targeting not only local consumption but for exports. He said the European market was ready for Kenyan products.
He urged farmers to take advantage of climate finance to increase their acreage under crops that are in high demand in the international markets.
The farmers, Nyong’o said, will be trained on the application of new technology to produce high yields, create more wealth and employment as well as surplus food for local consumption.