Kenya mulls agriculture research fund to boost food security

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-20 19:43:03|Editor: ZX
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NAIROBI, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Kenya plans to put in place an agriculture research fund in order to boost food security, an official said on Monday.

Hamadi Boga, principal secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation said in Nairobi that despite the bulk of the workforce being employed in agriculture, Kenya is yet to achieve food self-sufficiency.

"The fund will help the country to prioritize investments in developing new innovations in agriculture that will boost productivity especially of small holder farmers," said Boga.

Boga said that all relevant stakeholders including the public and private sector as well as the local communities will be consulted before the fund is presented to cabinet for approval.

He revealed that the fund will help Kenya to roll out high yielding seeds varieties that will enable the country's agriculture sector also tackle climate change.

The government official noted that both private and public research with innovative ideas will be funded from the agricultural research fund.

According to the country's policy, Kenya needs to spend at least two percent of gross domestic product on research.

Boga noted that agriculture research will help Kenya to rely on scientific evidence to guide farmers on how to improve their yields.

He added that agricultural productivity on key staples such as maize has been declining despite increased use in fertilizer.