Agriculture CS Hon Peter Munya has said that Kenya is working towards a 27% reduction in prevalence of malnutrition among children under 5 years of age; a 50% reduction in the number of food insecure Kenyans, by reducing the cost of food as a percentage of income by 47%; as well as enabling a 48% increase in Agriculture sector’s contribution to GDP. CS Munya was Speaking during the Ministerial round table meeting held at the AGRF Summit 2021.
Below is his speech.
MY REMARKS DURING THE MINISTERIAL ROUNDTABLE HELD AT THE AGRF 2021 SUMMIT ON 8TH SEPTEMBER 2021.
My Fellow Ministers representing various Countries here,
Government of Kenya officials,
Council of Governors representatives,
The AGRF 2021 Summit Organizers,
Our Development Partners,
All Stakeholders represented,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is indeed a great honour to be part of this conversation as we continue to work together and consolidate our efforts to chart the pathway towards sustainable food systems for the Continent. We have come a long way in our journey of food systems transformation and as a signatory to the Comprehensive Africa Development Programme (CAADP) and the Malabo Declaration, our actions and initiatives in the sector are edging us closer to being on track to achieve the seven commitments to transform agriculture across the continent over the next decade.
At the inaugural Biennial Review in 2017, Kenya achieved an overall average score of 4.77 against the 2017 benchmark score of 3.94 and was therefore judged to be on track on three out of seven thematic areas, towards meeting the CAADP/ Malabo targets in 2025. Later, in 2019, Kenya achieved an average score of 4.88, with only one out of the seven commitments on track, of boosting Intra-African Trade in agriculture commodities, which means we saw a decline in performance from the 2017. This has led to the Ministry implementing strong reforms for transformation in the sector including implementation of smart incentives through e-vouchers, restructuring of our Strategic Food Reserves and a raft of regulatory reforms increasing transparency and price discovery by farmers in our key strategic value chains that include tea and coffee.
As the 2021 Biennial Reporting process is being concluded, we are sure that Kenya shall perform better than it did in 2019. I, however, wish to note that the challenge we have experienced in Biennial Reporting is not so much a lack of performance, but more about accessibility of data and information which means, as a sector, we need to coordinate better and implement innovative digital tools for the collection of data, moving forward.
My fellow Ministers, on progress of the SDGs the work to transform the food system must be grounded in careful monitoring and data. Kenya has prioritized the implementation of Agenda 2030 and is committed to sustainable development. The principles of Kenya’s National Development Agenda are wholly aligned with the SDGs, and we stand on the Big Four Agenda as our path towards attaining Goal Number 2 of Zero Hunger.
As a country, we are working towards a 27% reduction in prevalence of malnutrition among children under 5 years of age; a 50% reduction in the number of food insecure Kenyans, by reducing the cost of food as a percentage of income by 47%; as well as enabling a 48% increase in Agriculture sector’s contribution to GDP.
We have implemented other policy interventions to End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition and Promote Sustainable Agriculture. Of note are:
1. Enhancing Strategic Food Reserves through public institutions and private sector partners and a digital Food Balance Sheet as well as enhancing grain drying and storage facilities
2. Promotion of, and, institutionalizing large-scale commercial farming
3. Revitalization of Industrial crops that provide forward and backward linkages for increased incomes for value chain actors
4. E-voucher schemes to facilitate access to agricultural inputs to subsistence farmers through networks of agro-dealers thus increasing the reach, dignity and transparency in delivery of subsidies.
5. The Crop Insurance Project to mitigate risks and losses associated during the crop cycle
6. Promoting Climate smart agriculture practices to ensure sustainability of production for the long term
All these interventions are anchored in Kenya’s already strong foundations and commitments to transforming food systems with a broad vision of achieving 100% food and nutrition security. Vision 2030 sets the agenda for inclusive growth and people-driven sustainable development, particularly under the economic and macro pillar which prioritizes agriculture; where the Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS) presents the Ministry’s commitment to transforming the sector by increasing output and productivity, boosting incomes in agribusiness and ensuring household resilience and food security.
From the UN Food Systems Summit Dialogues Outcomes, the Food Systems Dialogue has provided us with an opportunity to reflect and identify game changing solutions to some of the challenges we have in the sector. The outcomes of these dialogues went into shaping Kenya’s position paper to be presented at the Summit later this month. In addition, the Kenyan Government has agreed to participate in four (4) of the global coalitions with voluntary participation. These are the FAO Food Coalition; the World Food Programme School Meals Coalition; the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate), led by the United Stated Department of Agriculture, and the World Economic Forum’s Data and Digital Coalition.
Together, we intend to build prosperity through inclusive, innovative, collaborative and dynamic food systems, that are based on data-driven decisions to ensure access to diverse diets from climate resilient production in every region of the country. To achieve this, four priority leading action areas have been identified – Youth, Innovation, Diverse Diets and Climate Change. To our already existing strong framework, we have crafted four aspirations for action.
1. Increasing the number of young people receiving school based agricultural education.
2. Increasing the uptake of digital agricultural solutions.
3. Improving the diversity of diets including fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat and fish, as well as grains.
4. Heightening climate action to build the resilience of our people.
I believe that after these very important dialogues, we shall re-commit to continued collaboration to build-back-better the sector’s performance, not only at a national but at the regional, continental, and global scale.
In closing, despite the challenges of the time where COVID 19, Climate Change, the Desert Locusts invasion in the region, as well as other pests and diseases have impacted the sector, we are striving forward and I welcome the discussions on how we, as Governments on the Continent, can work towards advancing the commitments we have made towards realizing 100% food and nutrition security.
With these brief introductory remarks, I thank you and look forward to fruitful deliberations.
Asanteni Sana. Thank You.
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