Agriculture Sector Network (ASNET) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture held the 3rd edition of the National Agriculture Summit at KICC Nairobi on 4th and 5th July 2023. The summit was opened by the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development Hon. Mithika Linturi. Over 500 delegates attended the event representing various actors in the agriculture sector namely; The Private Sector Actors, the Public Sector and indeed all stakeholders in the Agriculture sector . The theme of the Summit was ‘’Leaving No One Behind: For food and Nutrition Security and Agriculture Competitiveness’’
The summit was graciously sponsored by GIZ, The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Elgon Kenya Ltd, AGRA, FAO, British High Commission through Innovative KTN, Feed The Future USAID KCDMS activity, and Cereal Millers Association.
The summit provided a forum for stakeholders to express their views on the status of the agriculture sector, the respective participating partners’ roles and further actions for Food and Nutrition Security, Food Systems transformation and Competitiveness in the Agriculture sector.
Specifically, the National Agriculture Summit identified the following ten(10) Action Points for intervention in the Next one year before the next National Agriculture Summit, slotted for 3rd- 4th July 2024.
1. Involve Academia and Research, Civil Society and Consumers in the Monthly Public-Private Roundtables with MoALD, the State Department of Fisheries and the Blue Economy, State Department Cooperatives. The dialogue platforms should take place once every month and should be Co-Chaired by the Private Sector and the Cabinet Secretary Appointee. Further to the Commitment by the CS to engage frequently with the Private Sector, the Summit further proposed a once every four months ASNET-Cabinet Secretary’s Round-table.
2. Agriculture For Industry
The Farmers should Produce for Markets; In support of the Bottom-up Economic Agenda and the Kenya Kwanza Government; The Agroprocessor, the Farmer must minimize the information asymmetry and Facilitate industry commitment for off-takers. To map out producers, especially for Cotton, leather, pyrethrum, edible oils and other key value chains for local processing and local textile and Apparel Sector.
3. Allow private sector to access the 500,000 acres of available government land for production in order to boost food security efforts
4. Agree timelines for outstanding payments owed to cereal millers and re-engage with them to buy the huge maize harvest in October.
5. Work with the Private Sector to implement the National Agriculture Extension Policy so as to strengthen extension service. The new policy underscores the increased role of the Private Sector in extension Service delivery and innovative extension mechanisms including digital platforms. This will lead to more youth mainstreaming in the Agriculture Sector.
6. Boost private sector extension efforts by ensuring that the Agri-professionals bill is discussed and passed by parliament
7. Involve more than 10,000 agro-dealers (Agro-vets and fertilizer companies) in the fertilizer subsidy program for the benefit of all and for easy access by all farmers. Allow all 9 new fertilizer blending factories in the fertilizer subsidy programme, and not limit it to 2 only.
8. Cascade ASNET to the Devolved Units and Create awareness of opportunities under AfCFTA and leverage on existing local trade opportunities – farmer organizations/associations and involvement in trade
9. Admit ASNET in Intergovernmental Organs, IGF, JASCOM, CASCOM, SWAGs for Coherence in the formulation of favourable Policies and an enabling Business Environment and Creation of an Intergovernmental/inter-ministerial Consultative Forum with Private Sector for Coherence of Cross-cutting policies.
10. Together with the Private Sector, create awareness of the New Food Safety Policy and build capacity of the Private Sector Actors under the New Food Safety Policy and the Food and Feed Safety Coordination Bill, 2021 as Food Business Operators, both at the National and County levels.