A section of farmers in Garissa County are calling on the next government to invest in food security and supply chains through public- private partnerships.
The farmers who had joined The Kenya National Farmers’ Federation (KENAFF) Garissa branch, said currently, the cost of food production is high as a result of increased prices of fertilisers, seeds, pesticides and fuel, leaving the farmers with losses at the end.
Led by (KENAFF) Garissa branch chairperson Dubat Amey, the farmers further want the government to set up policies for irrigation schemes especially in the North eastern parts of the country which has tracts of unutilised land which can be used for farming.
“Currently and years to come, we won’t be able to depend on rains only for farming because of climate change. We need to plan ahead, invest in irrigation because we have River Tana here which never dries,” Dubat Said.
“We also lose millions of litres of water when it rains. We need the government to see how we can harvest that water and use it for our benefit instead of letting it cause havoc through floods which has been affecting us every year,” he added.
Among other things raised by the farmers include designating the country’s food, feed and nutrition as a national security matter, support the establishment of a national farmers database, creation of value addition chain and wards.
They are also calling for the strengthening of the finance, regulatory and policy aspects of climate smart agriculture, investing in new farm technologies, innovations and mismanagement practices.
“We want whichever government is coming in, to nature with a suitable policy and regulatory environment supportive of farmers’ access to affordable credit as well as crop and livestock insurance, invest in a solid national irrigation infrastructure,” Dubat said.
Dubat noted that there is a need to invest in a solid national agricultural and livestock education, training and research system, build and support a system that guarantees affordable farm inputs, enhance the provision of targeted crop livestock, farm forestry, fisheries and aquaculture extension services.