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Promoting peer learning in agriculture helps to build a resilient and knowledgeable farming community. It encourages the adoption of innovative practices, improves productivity, and contributes to sustainable agricultural development in Kenya.
It is against this background, the Council of Governors (CoG) Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives Committee in collaboration with the Maarifa Centre invited County Executive Committee Members (CECMs) in charge of the sector for a three-day workshop themed “investing in Inter-County Peer Learning as a Means of Institutional Reforms.”
The meeting, organized in Nyeri County from 13th to 15th December 2023, saw CECMs from across the 47 Counties engage in policy discussions, deliberate on the achievements and challenges in the sector as well as have field sessions in Othaya Farmers’ Cooperative Society Limited Coffee mill, The Mukurweini Wakulima Dairy Limited and the Afya Chap Chap, a banana porridge flour processing plant.
In a powerful signal of support for devolution in Kenya, the CoG pledged to compel the Intergovernmental Relations Committee to uphold the agreed delineation of functions of the National Government and County Governments, saying any move to avert the gazette notice is a threat to devolution.
CoG Vice chairperson for the Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives committee H.E Mutahi Kahiga said counties must be given room to operate independently and to discharge their mandates in accordance with the constitution.
Speaking during the workshop the County Governor encouraged the CECMs to stand and protect devolution at all Costs. He added that Devolution has impacted many lives, especially through the Agriculture and Health Sectors, “As County Executive Committee Members, you have to desist from further transactions with anyone that is not pro devolution”. He encouraged all CECMs to refer all matters to the Council for discussion and advisory.
Governor Kahiga emphasized the need for counties to be supported in production as part of efforts to address the high cost of living in the country.
Agriculture CECMs caucus chairperson Hon. Kiplimo Lagat lauded the remarks by H.E Governor Kahiga, saying there is need for more resources to be devolved in the quest to fulfill the devolution agenda in the agriculture sector.
“Budgeting process is key in strengthening service delivery. Most devolved functions remain crippled as a result of inadequate resource allocation, something that calls for concerted efforts from all stakeholders and champions of devolution.”
In a speech delivered by Mr. Robert Kiteme, the lead of the Agriculture Committee on behalf of the CoG CEO Mary Mwiti, he called for a collective effort from all stakeholders to revolutionize the agriculture sector. “In our quest to achieve food security and create wealth we must always look at the nexus that will trigger bigger and better growth for the sector” said Mr. Kiteme.
“We must work with all stakeholders in this process, from farmers and local communities to private sector players and development partners to ensure we prioritize programmes that can assure the country food security. Their insights and experiences are invaluable in shaping policies and initiatives that are practical, impactful, and sustainable.” Kiteme added.
The field visits, undertaken in partnership with the County Government of Nyeri, played a crucial role in this collaborative spirit. The county has actively supported individuals, groups, and cooperatives with both technical and financial assistance, focusing on value addition across different value chains. This approach aims to generate more value from products, consequently increasing income for farmers. The experiential learning session aims to serve as a model for replication nationwide, contributing to initiatives that reduce the country's annual food imports.

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