By Checky Abuje
The One- Acre Fund initiative has pledged to support the county government of Busia and by extension Western, Kenya boosts food security situation currently dwindling following the natural calamities like floods that have recently hit the region leaving agriculture and agricultural activities in limbo.
According to One-Acre Fund Public Relation Officer, Lilian Avugwi, the move to support the county government of Busia is aimed at ensuring that one of the Big Four Agenda of the government namely food security is achieved through creating synergies with farmers at the grassroots level.
Speaking in Busia, Western Kenya after signing a 5year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the County government of Busia, Madam Lilian disclosed that so far, her organization (One-Acre Fund) is serving a total of 32,424 farmers in the county through the provision of quality farm inputs.
“In every farming season, we give out Credits inform of farm inputs to farmers to the tune of Kshs. 350,000,296” remarked Lilian.
Representing the county government of Busia during the ceremony, the county Minister for Agriculture, Animal Resources and fisheries Dr. Moses Osia reiterated the commitment of the County government to partner and fully support the initiative saying it is geared towards food sufficiency not only in Busia or Western Kenya but the country at large, given Western region is the food basket of Kenya.
Dr. Osia maintained that the Memorandum of Understanding is timely as many farmers in the region suffered losses due to floods. He assured the public that the partnership will not only promote food security but nutrition and economic empowerment of farmers as well.
However, he said one of the challenges that have impeded food sufficiency in Kenya is developing a common strategy and sound policies to govern and address the problem.
Dr. Osia noted that the county government of Busia is working out a paper on the same for the sake of strengthening the framework and policies to man all food chains within the department of Agriculture in the County.
Statistics have proved that global climate change is a major hindrance.
According to experts, this is due to increased frequency and magnitude of adverse weather events across the globe causing reduced crop and livestock production leading to the rise in food insecurity, hence the need to embrace partners in the agricultural sector like One-Acre Fund among others to improve and increase productivity.
Lilian Avugwi told Africa Science News that her organization advances loans to farmers for farm inputs at a 9% interest (service fee).
The farm inputs include Seeds, fertilizer (both planting and top dressing) and local vegetable seeds.
Other incentives are Solar lights, post-harvest materials like hermetic bags, pesticides, cooking stoves and iron sheets.