Agriculture CS Linturi calls for global action to combat climate change, food insecurity

Mithika Linturi

Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi together with the Kenyan delegation while preparing to deliver Kenya’s ministerial statement during the ongoing United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization Council meeting in Rome, Italy on Monday.

Photo credit: Pool

Agriculture and Livestock Development Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi is calling for the adoption of modern technology to boost food security.

Speaking during the ongoing United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Council meeting in Rome, Italy, Mr Linturi appealed for urgent global action to combat climate change and food insecurity.

He said the use of technology is key to achieving efficiency, safety, transparency and avoiding waste.

The CS noted that failure to combat climate change effects has led to drought and other disasters globally.

He said climate change has left Kenya facing the worst drought in 40 years after four consecutive seasons of failed rains.

Consequently, he said, about 4.5 million Kenyans face starvation and over 2.5 million livestock worth Sh1.8 billion have already been lost.

The CS said urgent measures must now be taken because the extreme climate change events being witnessed globally has compromised food security globally.

“Development partners should work with governments to address the food insecurity issue that’s affecting millions of people worldwide,” said Mr Linturi. “If we are to address food challenges expeditiously then efficiency and effectiveness must be the hallmark of our agri-food systems.”

Mr Linturi told the meeting that the Kenyan government is determined to ensure Kenyans are food secure in the most affordable, accessible and qualitative sense.

As part of the short-term response to the ongoing drought, Mr Linturi said his ministry has embarked on the distribution of relief supplies and cash transfers to 4.5 million Kenyans affected by drought in 23 arid and semi-arid counties.

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

Others in the Kenyan delegation include Livestock Development Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai, Council of Governors Agriculture committee chairperson Kenneth Lusaka, National Assembly’s Agriculture and Livestock Vice Chairperson Leonard Yegon and committee member Sabina Chege.