Participants at the workshop from different commodities Associations
Kenya National Farmers Federation, KENAFF, held a workshop in September 2022 with various commodity associations. The main objective of the workshop was to impart knowledge and enhance the capacity for the commodity representatives for effective participation in governance and policy-making at individual county levels.
During this event it was very clear that agriculture is the main sector that supports the Kenyan economy where its contribution to GDP is – 23% directly and 27% indirectly. It also ensures food and nutrition security employing about – 8.5 million individuals in rural areas. Potato was not left behind, it was confirmed as the second most important food and cash crop after maize in Kenya, occupying a prime position in terms of contribution to food security, poverty eradication, and economic development of the country. The crop which is currently being grown by over 800,000 smallholder farmers, employs 2.7 million actors along the value chain and contributes over Ksh 50 billion to the economy. Potato is identified as one of the strategic crops that will play a significant role in achieving both the goals of the Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS) 2019-2029 and the Kenya’s Vision 2030 under the pillar of economic growth.
Some of the identified key challenges that affect the commodity performance/ agricultural sector include; unsupportive legal policy and regulatory environment, weak extension, climate change and weather variability, soil fertility, variations in the prices of commodities both locally and globally and high cost of inputs.
With this kind of information, the commodity representatives were enlightened on the importance of advocating for better government services towards enhancement of the sector and the need for farmers participating in budgeting process. An update on both national and county budget calendars was given to ensure timely participation and well-representation during resource allocation and other planning processes at the various county levels alongside advocating for a good and supportive policy framework. The commodities represented were Potato (NPCK), Fish (Kenya National Fisher folk Association), Goat (Dairy Goats Association of Kenya), Fruits, Cereals, among others.