The Star (Nairobi)

7 September 2012

Kenya: There Is Enough Food in Kenya for All, Agriculture Permanent Secretary Assures

THERE is sufficient food in the country, Agriculture PS Romano Kiome has said. He, however, said there will be a rice, wheat and maize shortage because of unpredictable weather. "We don't produce enough rice, maize and wheat to meet our demand as a country. This is because of bad weather," he said, adding that, "We have surplus beef, milk and mangoes. And when it rains most vegetables will rot in the farms."

Kiome was speaking at Wundanyi town where he was assessing the progress of the Kenya agricultural productivity and agribusiness and the Kenya agricultural productivity and sustainable land management projects. He said the government needs to allocate more funds to the ministry for irrigation, adding that the country has yet to utilise its irrigation potential.

"We don't have a high potential to produce wheat, rice and maize because we are too dependent on rains. We have not fully invested in irrigation farming," he said. Kiome said the government will use Sh2 billion on conduct a census on farmers, adding that the data collected will be critical for the development of policy on agriculture.

The census involves computerizing the data from farmers across the country. Kiome said the ministry has already sent some of its officers to Rome for a training on the new technology. "We are currently developing the software for the farmers census," he said. The PS said that by next month,the agriculture ministry will undertake a pilot census to help in the development of the new software. He said that the census is the first one to be undertaken in the country.

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