Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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2nd Intergovernmental Forum on Agriculture Sector

agriThe Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries and the Council of Governors jointly organized the 2nd Intergovernmental Forum on Agriculture which on 21st -22nd November, 2016 in Mombasa. The Forum whose theme was ”deepening intergovernmental engagement for agriculture transformation and economic growth’’ brought together all Governors, County Executive Members of Agriculture and the top leadership from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries.

The forum sought to address some implementation challenges based on the resolutions of the 1st Intergovernmental Consultative Forum held in 2014 especially the lack of a clear coordinating framework for flow of funds, data collection and sharing and duplication of roles by some parastatals. Participants acknowledged that the 1st Consultative Forum set up Intergovernmental structures like the; overarching National Agriculture Policy and the Agricultural Sector Intergovernmental Consultation and Cooperation Mechanism. These have deepened the consultative and participatory processes and as a result strengthened the relationship between the two levels of governments and enhanced youth participation in agriculture as a way of sector transformation and economic growth.

The two levels of government developed and adopted the Agricultural Sector Intergovernmental Consultation and Cooperation Mechanism. It incorporates key stakeholders in the agriculture sector to ensure that agriculture contributes to equitable national economic growth and increased food security through effective implementation of the Agricultural policy. The aim is to increase efforts towards production and productivity; market access; enhancing national food security and nutrition and effective sector and institutional reforms.

It recognized the fact that, while agriculture is a fully devolved function it is imperative for the national and county governments to work together through a well-defined mechanism that allows free flow of funding, information and accountability at both levels of Government as well as the private sector. The forum adopted 15 resolutions which would guide the two levels of Government in enhancing service delivery in achieving prosperity and Food Security as one.
The meeting also noted that agriculture needs to be a key enhancer of the youth unemployment rate in Kenya which is rising at an alarming rate and stands at 40%. The plenum on Youth and Agribusiness established that there is an urgent need to counter the negative perception held by youth on agriculture in order for them to actively participate in agricultural activities. With an inclination to technology, the challenge is therefore for the sector to incorporate innovative research and technology in the agriculture sector to pique the interest of the youth. In addition, equipping youth with appropriate agribusiness skills, knowledge and information and enhancing access to affordable and youth friendly financial services for agri-preneurship are some of the strategies that can be applied to make agriculture an appealing venture for the youth.

Furthermore, a Youth Agribusiness Strategy was adopted which when implemented will attract the youth in agribusiness. An annual Youth Conference, a youth movement and eco-zones will be established where incubation and upscaling, innovative financing, capacity building and mentorship will be incorporated.

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