Contribution of GIZ Agriculture cluster cooperation in attaining food security in Siaya

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The County Executive Committee Member in charge of Agriculture, Food, Livestock, Irrigation and Fisheries in Siaya County, Mr. Charles Ogada commended the valuable partnership between his Department and The German Technical Cooperation (GIZ). The organization is a major partner supporting transformation of agriculture sector towards increased productivity, agribusiness and infrastructure within Siaya County.

Mr. Ogada spoke during a consultative meeting in Bondo with development partners from GIZ Agriculture Western Cluster last week.

GIZ is currently working with the County Government of Siaya on a Food Security Project, Green Innovation Centres Project and a Soil Testing Project. The three projects are implemented in all 30 wards of Siaya County.

While the GIZ Food Security Project (FSP) is a bilateral programme implemented by GIZ and Department of Agriculture, Food, Livestock, Irrigation and Fisheries on behalf of Germany Government and County Government of Siaya respectively, the two other additional projects “Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security” and “Green Innovation Centres in the Agricultural and Food Sector” are implemented through the special initiative “One World – No Hunger” projects (SEWOHs).

The Executive Committee Member for Agriculture welcomed this partnership that is focused on strengthening the capacity of the Department to manage the agricultural sector through appropriate policies and strategies. He noted that to attract investment and maximize its contribution to the development of Agriculture sector, clear government policies are needed to guide and inform the planning, preparation, negotiation, monitoring, and implementation of both public and private investment.

So far, the Draft Siaya County Agriculture Sector Policy 2017, Draft Siaya Agriculture Sector Plan 2018-2028 and Draft Siaya County Soil Management Policy 2017 are at advanced stages of formulation.

The Agriculture Department is also engaged in consultation with GIZ for further support in the development of Fisheries Regulations, Dairy policy and root and tuber strategy. The CECM also noted that aquaculture, dairy, horticulture, root and tubers, sorghum production are key priorities of concern to the County Government of Siaya.

The Department also remains committed in integrating ICT to agricultural extension service. “Deliberate efforts to improve and modernize agricultural extension into a system that is cost effective, responsive to clients’ needs and broad-based in service delivery are in top gear”, Hon. Ogada noted.

With support from GIZ, 15 plant clinics have been established within Siaya to be manned by 30 County officials. They are providing diagnosis and management advice for any problem and any crop. Mass messaging has enabled farmers to receive appropriate and timely agricultural messages using FrontlineApp.

Mr. Ogada was accompanied by his Chief Officer and Directors. GIZ Implementing partners present included GOPA, GFA, WHH, REFSO, UCRC, Free Kenya and KALRO Arupe. ASDSP, KCSAP and WRA.