Kenya, EU agriculture deal raises hopes of curbing food insecurity

Mithika Linturi

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

The government has partnered with the European Union (EU) in efforts to increase agricultural production by supporting small-scale farmers.

Speaking in Nairobi yesterday after holding talks with EU ambassador Henriette Geiger at Kilimo House, Agriculture and Livestock Development Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi said the development is a shot in the arm for the government’s plans to end food insecurity.

The initiative will see the EU provide both technical and financial support to growers. Mr Linturu said his ministry is also keen on partnering with the EU to increase youth participation in agriculture.

“Our meeting to explore possible areas of partnership in the agricultural sector is crucial because it comes at a time when our government is implementing strategies to support food production,” said Mr Linturi.

Crops Development Principal Secretary Harsama Kello appealed to the EU to extend their support to horticulture farming to ensure local produce meets international standards.

Livestock Development PS Harry Kimutai urged the EU delegation to lobby investors from their countries to put their money in Kenya’s agricultural sector.  Ms Geiger said the EU is committed to helping Kenya enhance food security and increase incomes.

“We want to encourage the youth to embrace farming by empowering them through training and technology,” said Ms Geiger.

The EU, comprising a delegation of 17 envoys, also committed to supporting Kenyan farmers recover from effects of the prolonged drought that has destroyed livelihoods and killed livestock.

Mr Linturi pledged to bring on board all the 47 governors in the partnership in order to ensure that farmers countrywide benefit.