Tuesday, 09 March 2021 10:57

THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR MEETING WITH KEY STAKEHOLDERS.

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County Governments have begun the process of lobbying for review and revocation of legislation that undermine devolution. The Governors are raising concern over their exclusion in the formulation and passage of key legislations, intended to govern and regulate the Agriculture Sector. In a consultative meeting held in Naivasha with the Ministry of Agriculture, USAID, Agriculture Sector Network (ASNET) and the Coffee Sub sector Reforms Implementation Standing Committee (CSRISC), the Governors decried the usurping of their role in legislative processes in the Agriculture sector.
They singled out the Tea Act N0. 23 of 2020 whose enactment sparked outcry and protests from tea farmers. The farmers are rejecting the law for denying them the right to sell their tea directly and giving excessive powers to tea boards. The Governors in the meeting said the Council of Governors will seek dialogue with H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta on the implementation of the Tea Act with the view to resolve the issues raised by the Council and thereby put the Tea industry into low development trajectory.
The Governors appreciate the strides made in transforming the agriculture sector but are concerned that their function of formulating laws and policies for the devolved sector has been taken up by the ministry. This has seen the development of legislations that are discriminatory and in violation of the constitution.
Agriculture remains the primary driver of Kenya's economic growth. According to a recent report by USAID, approximately 75% of Kenyans earn a living from this sector and it contributes 33% to the nation's gross domestic product (GDP).
The sector plays a pivotal role in achieving food security, which is part of the government's Big 4 agenda, as well as the realisation of Kenya's vision 2030.
The meeting with the stakeholders in the Agriculture sector, sought to deliberate on emerging issues and establish mutually beneficial partnerships.
The Governors also expressed concern over the continued delay in disbursements of funds by the national Treasury which has derailed most development projects at the counties. The Council reiterated its call, of resources following functions, especially in the Agriculture sector where most of the resources are channeled to National Government departments and agencies.
The Chairperson of the Agriculture Committee at the Council of Governors H.E James Nyoro welcomed the continued partnerships citing them as instrumental to the success of devolved units.
“We note that the need to transforming agriculture requires collaborative effort between the two levels of government, development partners and the private sector,” he said. The Governors said the Council will enhance its partnerships with the private sector and institutions such as USAID towards the growth of the Agriculture sector.

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