Book on food security launched

The Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board has, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, launched a new book on the technological innovations boosting production and food security. The book titled, Towards Food Security: How Technology and Innovation Are Creating Efficiencies and Jobs on Today’s Farm, showcases breakthrough innovations in the agricultural value chains, technologies, production, and marketing, as well as the government and private sector roles in agriculture. 

According to Mr Edward Mwasi, the Kenya Yearbook Editorial CEO, agriculture has proven to be a critical supplier of nutrients against a range of illnesses, especially during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

He also echoes President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent speech, in which he indicated that more youth are looking into the multi-faceted income streams of the agriculture sector.

“The data is on their side. Kenya’s agricultural sector accounts for 65 per cent of our export earnings, and provides for the livelihoods – employment, income, and food security needs –of more than 80 per cent of our population. Clearly, for discerning youth, there is some money to be made from this,” he said. 

There is a huge untapped potential in agriculture as a catalyst for economic development and food security. The potential ranges from research and technology to improve yields and cut harvest losses, to the new ways of controlling pests and diseases.  Innovation is key, if Kenya is to achieve the food-security pillar of the President’s Big Four agenda. 

Also, tapping into new technology in sub-sectors such as livestock, poultry, horticulture, cereals and cash crops will boost income from farming. 

Speaking during the ceremony, Ms Bernadette Murgor, the CEO, Smart Farmer Africa, lauded the partnership between the Kenya Year Book Editorial Board and the company.

“We have networks on the ground and are able to give valuable insights into what is happening at the grassroots, within the agricultural industry. We were happy to collaborate and support the Editorial Board to ensure the successful publication of the book,” she said

In his foreword, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya admits that food security remains a challenge despite the huge amounts resources that government has spent on it.

“Though Kenya has invested many years and huge financial resources in agriculture, food and nutrition insecurity continue to be a challenge,” he writes.  “This requires a transformation of agriculture by leveraging on the use of innovations.” 

For his part, the CS for ICT and Innovation, Mr Joe Mucheru, says that attaining food security in Kenya and the rest of Africa will ride on the wings of technological innovation. 

“Adapting the latest technologies in food production and value addition is the future, which is already with us.

 “One of the beauties of technology is that it is universal; it is applicable everywhere with the same efficiencies and conveniences. It is supremely democratic. There is thus no reason why diverse groups of farmers – pastoralists, horticulturalists, dairy farmers, beekeepers, and so on. – cannot harness it in its various forms to maximise on their products,” he writes. 

The book is divided into eight chapters based on subsectors and subjects. The subsectors with potential for job creation addressed in the book are livestock, poultry, horticulture, innovations, cash crops and cereals. Livestock is one of the sectors with huge economic benefits and the potential for job creation, especially in value addition. 

The total value of marketed livestock and related products in 2018 rose to Ksh135.6 billion from Ksh125.4 billion in 2016, according to a Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. 

The poultry sector, with 31 million birds, plays an important role in the economy and fulfils the nutrition needs of Kenyans. Yet there are many challenges and the publication offers solutions for poultry farmers.

Exports of fresh horticultural products were worth Ksh153.7 billion in 2018, a 33.3 per cent increase over 2017. Horticulture is currently the third leading agricultural export, behind tea and coffee. The value of horticultural exports stands at nearly Ksh100 billion and there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Kenya has been a regional giant in the production of cut flowers for export, mostly to Europe. The floriculture sub-sector has recorded exponential growth in volume and value of cut flowers exported every year. 

Export earnings from cut flowers grew by 37.7 per cent to Ksh113.2 billion and accounted for 73.6 per cent of total fresh horticulture export earnings in 2018 compared to 2017. The book looks at some of the best production methods that have kept the country at the top for decades.

Innovation in agriculture is crucial for improved production across all sectors. Cutting-edge innovations, gadgets and machines that add value to produce, solar-powered milk coolers, greenhouse fish farming, deploying natural enemies to control pests, simple irrigation technologies and mobile phone apps are also covered. 

The Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board (KYEB) is a state corporation under the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology, which produces and disseminates publications to local and international audiences. 

It ensures that Kenyans and the international community understand the government’s development agenda and know about the available investment opportunities. 

The KYEB also facilitates information flow from ministries, departments and agencies to the private sector and the public. This is meant to enable Kenyans to effectively participate in nation building. 

According to Mr Edward Mwasi, the Kenya Yearbook Editorial CEO, agriculture has proven to be a critical supplier of nutrients against a range of illnesses, especially during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

He also echoes President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent speech, in which he indicated that more youth are looking into the multi-faceted income streams of the agriculture sector.

“The data is on their side. Kenya’s agricultural sector accounts for 65 per cent of our export earnings, and provides for the livelihoods – employment, income, and food security needs –of more than 80 per cent of our population. Clearly, for discerning youth, there is some money to be made from this,” he said. 

There is a huge untapped potential in agriculture as a catalyst for economic development and food security. The potential ranges from research and technology to improve yields and cut harvest losses, to the new ways of controlling pests and diseases.  Innovation is key, if Kenya is to achieve the food-security pillar of the President’s Big Four agenda. 

Also, tapping into new technology in sub-sectors such as livestock, poultry, horticulture, cereals and cash crops will boost income from farming. 

Speaking during the ceremony, Ms Bernadette Murgor, the CEO, Smart Farmer Africa, lauded the partnership between the Kenya Year Book Editorial Board and the company.

“We have networks on the ground and are able to give valuable insights into what is happening at the grassroots, within the agricultural industry. We were happy to collaborate and support the Editorial Board to ensure the successful publication of the book,” she said

In his foreword, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya admits that food security remains a challenge despite the huge amounts resources that government has spent on it.

“Though Kenya has invested many years and huge financial resources in agriculture, food and nutrition insecurity continue to be a challenge,” he writes.  “This requires a transformation of agriculture by leveraging on the use of innovations.” 

For his part, the CS for ICT and Innovation, Mr Joe Mucheru, says that attaining food security in Kenya and the rest of Africa will ride on the wings of technological innovation. 

“Adapting the latest technologies in food production and value addition is the future, which is already with us.

 “One of the beauties of technology is that it is universal; it is applicable everywhere with the same efficiencies and conveniences. It is supremely democratic. There is thus no reason why diverse groups of farmers – pastoralists, horticulturalists, dairy farmers, beekeepers, and so on. – cannot harness it in its various forms to maximise on their products,” he writes. 

The book is divided into eight chapters based on subsectors and subjects. The subsectors with potential for job creation addressed in the book are livestock, poultry, horticulture, innovations, cash crops and cereals. Livestock is one of the sectors with huge economic benefits and the potential for job creation, especially in value addition. 

The total value of marketed livestock and related products in 2018 rose to Ksh135.6 billion from Ksh125.4 billion in 2016, according to a Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. 

The poultry sector, with 31 million birds, plays an important role in the economy and fulfils the nutrition needs of Kenyans. Yet there are many challenges and the publication offers solutions for poultry farmers.

Exports of fresh horticultural products were worth Ksh153.7 billion in 2018, a 33.3 per cent increase over 2017. Horticulture is currently the third leading agricultural export, behind tea and coffee. The value of horticultural exports stands at nearly Ksh100 billion and there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Kenya has been a regional giant in the production of cut flowers for export, mostly to Europe. The floriculture sub-sector has recorded exponential growth in volume and value of cut flowers exported every year. 

Export earnings from cut flowers grew by 37.7 per cent to Ksh113.2 billion and accounted for 73.6 per cent of total fresh horticulture export earnings in 2018 compared to 2017. The book looks at some of the best production methods that have kept the country at the top for decades.

Innovation in agriculture is crucial for improved production across all sectors. Cutting-edge innovations, gadgets and machines that add value to produce, solar-powered milk coolers, greenhouse fish farming, deploying natural enemies to control pests, simple irrigation technologies and mobile phone apps are also covered. 

The Kenya Yearbook Editorial Board (KYEB) is a state corporation under the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology, which produces and disseminates publications to local and international audiences. 

It ensures that Kenyans and the international community understand the government’s development agenda and know about the available investment opportunities. 

The KYEB also facilitates information flow from ministries, departments and agencies to the private sector and the public. This is meant to enable Kenyans to effectively participate in nation building. 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here