JOINT AGRICULTURE SECTOR STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING
1.Thank you to the co–convenors of this forum, for bringing us together once again to review progress we have made in the agricultural sector and agree on joint actions that will move us to the next level. We thank the Government and counties for the progress we have seen which includes rollout of the e–Voucher, digitization strategy, warehouse receipting system (WRS), management of the locust invasion as well as the COVID 19 response.
2.The Agriculture and Rural Development Partners Group is commonly referred to as the ARD PG is currently chaired by the European Union. The Embassy of Sweden is the Outgoing Chair and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is the Incoming Chair. Allow me to recognize the presence of my fellow colleagues here today:
- Embassy of Sweden–Our Outgoing chair
- IFAD–the Incoming Chair•Check those in the room•Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO)
- Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
- German Development Cooperation•French Embassy to Kenya
- The World Bank
- Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
- …List to be continued
We have journeyed together with the National and County Governments especially in determining sector priorities and we remain committed to contributing towards the success of Government efforts in the agricultural development, now more than ever giving the increasing challenges to the sector, and the continuing importance of the sector to Kenya’s national goals.
3.Addressing the challenges that we continue to face together such as climate change, pests and diseases and the global COVID 19 pandemic to mention but a few, demands consistent and inclusive efforts. We are privileged to have the Joint Agriculture Sector Consultation and Coordination Mechanism (JASCCM) that enables us to jointly monitor the progress we make as we agree on new targets from time to time.The JASCCM is strategically placed to undertake the following:
- Oversight, stewardship, and coordination forthe implementation of the Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS) and National Agricultural Investment Plan (NAIP);
- Development of innovative inter–governmental programmes with clear roles and responsibilities aligned to devolution;
- Provision of a clear window for a structured prioritization,financing,reporting and knowledge management;Development and establishment of systems for data, information, and evidence for decision making
- Dispute resolution
- Addressing sector emergencies
4.The ARDPG is especially pleased with the Government’s stewardship in implementation of the Agriculture Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS), launched at the 2019 IGF–A. We remain committed to the development of a robust M&E framework and look forward to the rollout this M&E framework to –and with –Counties to ensure cooperation at all levels as well as ensure a streamlined and harmonized approach to monitoring and reporting on results and challenges. We believe the National Agricultural Investment Plan (NAIP) will facilitate coordinated investment to support the ASTGS and we look forward to similar progress with the NAIP as we have witnessed with the ASTGS. From the development partner perspective, we are keen to ensure the programmes we support whether through the public or private sectors can have their contributions recorded.
5.We applaud the work done by the Sector Working Groups within the Joint Agricultural Secretariat (JAS) in sustaining technical progress. We urge the steering committee to meet regularly to ensure that these technical teams are guided and momentum built is preserved. We now have the Agriculture Transformation Office (ATO) almost fully fledged and we are keen to see the nexus between JASSCOM, ATO, JAS, CoG, and CASSCOMs in place as the way to guarantee a well–coordinated sector from the sub–county to the national, regional and international levels and to eliminate overlaps as we strengthen complementarities and synergies.
6.As we support Kenya in a journey to self–reliance and 100% Food Security and Nutrition as part of the Big Four Agenda, we recognize the role of the private sector as a key partner and trust the Government of Kenya to create an environment that attracts and sustains private sector investments and engagements at all levels. The private sector has the capacity to catalyze results in rapid research, adoption of new technologies and efficiencies in implementation time, not to mention the financial risks they take and all of which will benefit realization of existing Government plans both at National and County Levels. We are also supportive of efforts to revitalize agricultural extension and look forward to policy guidelines woven into a reviewed National Agricultural Sector Extension Policy (NASEP) which will enable value chain actors including small scale farmers to attain productivity and commercialization.
7.The Intergovernmental Forum for Agriculture (IGF–A) is the apex decision making organ for the agricultural sector and is expected to convene every two (2) years in addition to quarterly JASCOM meetings.The ARDPG has supported the forum since the inaugural meeting. We are pleased to note the upcoming forum and take this opportunity to confirm our commitment to contribute to the deliberations and resolutions.
8.Once again, on behalf of members of the ARD PG, we look forward to fruitful deliberations and clear resolutions to enable the sector to move to the next level of development.Wishing you all a productive meeting despite conducting the meeting virtually!
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