Kenya can achieve food security if government invests in agricultural technology

Kenya relies on only 10% of her landmass for food while 89% of the country’s landmass, home to 36% of the country’s population, is arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) and over 3 million people are severely food-insecure. The country’s food is produced by millions of smallholder farmers …. practicing rain-fed agriculture with inefficient traditional farming methods. The result is record shortfalls in food supply due to poor harvests.

Transforming agriculture …. is not rocket science. Development partners like Africa Harvest, a non-profit organization specializing in the development and deployment of improved agricultural technologies in Africa to increase productivity, have expertise and experience that can be called upon. Banana production in Kenya, hit a high of 1 million MT of fruit a year in 1987 and then declined to a low of 500,000 MT in 1995 due to pests and diseases.

In response to this challenge, Africa Harvest pioneered tissue culture (TC) banana technology …. This technology and investment in good agronomic training enhanced access to superior banana varieties with enhanced pest and disease resistance and increased yields; from an average of 14 to 32 tons per Hectare.

With food security as a key pillar in the Big Four Agenda for sustainable development …. Investment in the agriculture sector and the participation of all stakeholders, for enhanced results and sustainability are thus key.