A Kenyan expert on Tuesday urged the government to develop a comprehensive master plan that will demarcate counties into producing crops they have comparative advantage to help the country achieve food security.
James Nyoro, agricultural economist told a forum in Nairobi that each county was implementing its own plans on agriculture which has made it difficult for the national government to provide targeted supporting policy.
“There is need for counties to concentrate on the crops they have comparative advantage on. This will enable the national government to be able to offer policy guidance to create wealth, employment and reduce poverty,” Nyoro said.
He was speaking during the conference on transforming agriculture for inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods organized by think tank, the Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development of Egerton University.
Nyoro, who is former Managing Director of Rockefeller Foundation Africa, also noted the existing policy meant to improve on production was poorly coordinated between the two levels of government.
“The national government and county governments have not been able to develop a key approach to help in stimulating high growth in the sector. The plan ought to be in place immediately highlighting key commodities in addition to targets the national government needs to boost faster growth,” said Nyoro.
Nyoro who is also the former senior food security advisor to the Presidency however confirmed that in the recent past there has collaboration between the national government and county units through the council of governors to coordinate the managements of the agriculture sector.
“Many developed countries that have succeeded in agriculture transformation through a well-developed strong master plan and equally facilitate favorable operating environment mainly reducing cost of production,” he added.
The plan once in place will highlight the role each country ought to perform and also focus on emphasizing on the comparative advantage each county is endowed with.
This will prompt sound planning and more so placement of investments both by the governments and private sector.
Tegemeo Institute Director Milton Ayieko said the status of agriculture sector is gloomy and thus requires huge input in terms of guided coordination and full extension of investments.
“We need to intensify surveillance in the sector especially on weather but developing credible information. The focus further needs to be directed on involving women and youth to ensure more growth,” said Ayieko.
Agriculture, he said, has become more value chain oriented from production chain leaning.
Experts said the absence of the proper harmonization between the two levels of governments has led to incoherent implementation of policies to stimulate more growth in the sector. Enditem