Kenya on Friday launched a digital strategy and electronic voucher input subsidy program to boost agricultural productivity and farmers’ income.
Peter Munya, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, said the program is aimed at improving farm input efficiency and eliminating wastage.
“The digital strategy will help strengthen input distribution for enhanced productivity and output marketing across target value chains,” Munya said during the virtual program’s launch in western Kenyan County of Kisumu.
He said the program will be implemented in three phases targeting three million farmers from 12 pilot counties as the Agricultural Sector Transformation and Transformation Strategy (ASTGS) before it is rolled out countrywide.
Munya said the beneficiary farmers will be empowered to participate in producing maize, rice, Irish potatoes and coffee as prime movers of agriculture sector growth through pilot innovation schemes.
“The program will promote food security through the four crops that have the potential to commercialize and transform smallholder farmers,” said Munya.
He said that besides focusing on increased production levels, the program will take into consideration the agribusiness dimensions to include inclusive finance, insurance, markets and market access in a climate-smart environment.
Munya said that the program will use e-vouchers in the administration of the support redeemable at agro-dealers.
“This will minimize challenges and market distortions that small scale farmers face and foster sustainability and result in household food security and increased incomes at farmer level,” said Munya.
He said the program will also encourage farmers to adopt new technologies and commercialization and develop Public Private Partnership arrangements that would enhance program synergies, outreach and effectiveness.