The government has officially kicked off registration of all farmers in the country, a move that is expected to boost service delivery to farmers while weeding out middlemen who normally swaddle especially smallholder farmers.
Speaking during the launch of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (Godan) Conference and the Africa-Agritec Exhibition at a Nairobi Hotel, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett, already two million have been registered, with the ministry working towards registering all farmers before the end of this year
“We do not have accurate data in the agriculture sector and thus not able to plan well especially in extending resources’’
He added that a new department has been established at the ministry to foresee the registration process.
Farmer registration is part of the government’s plan to ensure that genuine farmers get subsidized farming inputs. It is also part of the government’s strategy to affect the 30 per cent procurement rule on food in Kenya.
Mid this year, the government pledged to set 30 per cent of all public institutions’ produce procurement for smallholder farmers in Kenya
This plan will see them pocket at least Sh15 billion per year, considering that government institutions spends close to Sh50 billion to source food.
Apart from benefiting smallholder farmers who accounts for almost 80 per cent of food in the country, the government is expected to save most of its funds.
Government institutions normally give out tenders to large suppliers who end up sourcing from smallholder farmers at low prices and later resell to institutions at exorbitant rates.
Even so, they have slim hopes of benefiting from the proposed deal, putting in mind that the 30 per cent government tenders promised to women and youths under the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) plan is yet to be achieved 4 years later.
The conference will be held from June 14 to 16 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC). He emphasized the importance of factual data use in the agriculture sector.