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Linturi vows to transform Agriculture Sector within a year

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi has promised to revitalize and revamp the agricultural sector within a year in an intervention to feed a hungry nation and generate foreign exchange.

The CS noted that he is aiming at making farming a profitable venture, enhancing production to boost food security in the Country.

He said the challenge of food security would be won if Kenyans support the government initiative to produce more food in the country.

In an interview at Citizen TV on Thursday, Linturi outlined his department’s short-term and long-term plans to tackle drought and food insecurity in the country.

Food prices

To curb the surging food prices in the Country CS Linturi noted that the government has started a short-term plan of granting millers and importers an import duty waiver to import 900,000 metric tons of white grain and 600,000 metric tons of rice. He further noted that the government is importing 500, 000 tons of yellow maize for the cattle to boost meat and milk production in the Country.

The CS however noted that the waiver will be short-term as the government is in the process of working to increase domestic food production in the coming months.

Farm inputs

Linturi said the government is aiming at achieving its long-term plan of increasing agricultural productivity by supporting farmers through access to quality inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. “The government is committed to supporting farmers to improve production through affordable farm inputs and reduced fertilizer price,” Linturi said.

He noted that the government is will be importing more fertilizer but added that they are looking forward to setting up fertilizer manufacturing factories in order to reduce the cost of fertilizers.

Lauding Integrated Agriculture Management Information System (KIAMIS) which is a digitized national farmer registration exercise that has been going on in the Country, the CS said this will help the government account for farmers receiving the farm inputs and also weed out impostors and rogue traders who have been exploiting farmers.

“Through the Kenya Integrated Agriculture Management Information System (KIAMIS), the government has been able to provide subsidized fertilizers to our maize and tea farmers. KES 1.7 billion was given as a fertilizer subsidy for tea farmers,” Linturi noted.

The CS said the readymade farmers’ register database emulated from Zambia will provide managed access to government programs by farmers and ensure traceability, accountability, and transparency in the implementation of the fertilizer subsidy programs and help the state avail more customized benefits to farmers across the country.

Extension services

Linturi said the government will ensure farmers have access to extension services in order to improve their skills. He added that the national and county governments will partner to facilitate the training of farmers and equip them with useful technologies to enhance food production.


Linturi further revealed that government will foster irrigation as the ultimate solution to guaranteeing food security. He asked Kenyans to be ready to embrace Irrigation agriculture for better yields.

He noted that the government through public-private partnerships is working on mechanisms of building water pans and dams to boost irrigation in the country.

“Reliance on rain-fed agriculture has been a big problem for our farmers. We have started the short-term irrigation program in 9 counties. We have sourced for funding, and we are all systems go. These are counties from our ASAL regions and our major food producers,” the CS said.

Water harvesting

Linturi called on Kenyans to capitalize on water harvesting technologies during this rainy season. According to him, any serious transformation in the country’s agriculture must be made with an eye on making water harvesting and storage a top priority.

“Let’s take advantage of the rain harvesting mechanisms,” he noted.

Diversification of food production

Linturi urged Kenyans to diversify food production and consumption by adopting drought-resistant crops, upland rice, livestock, and fish farming.

He asked Kenyans to plant drought-resistant crops such as cassava and sorghum to fight hunger noting that they can be a good source of food and income.

“It is such a shame that brewing companies using cassava have to export this commodity which can be produced in our country and it’s a drought resistance crop,” Linturi lamented.

Value addition

The CS noted that he has been traveling to various Countries to meet various agricultural stakeholders in a bid to find ways to revamp agriculture in the Country.

 According to Linturi among the many changes that the government seeks to do to revamp agriculture is value addition to its agriculture products.

Expounding on Value addition CS Linturi noted that the government has stepped up efforts to improve earnings from tea exports through value additions to export tea. He said the government is keen on adding value to tea before exporting to increase earnings for farmers and tea exporters.

Linturi further noted that the government is seeking more markets for tea with the latest being Australia. Last month CS Linturi flagged off a tea consignment of 2.68 metric tons valued at Sh3,706,966.62 that was shipped to Australia under the Kenyan Brand “Akina”. According to Linturi, the value-added tea is expected to fetch an average price of Sh1374.45 per kilo in Australia.

He added that adding value to Kenyan tea before export is a viable route for growing the country’s manufactured exports noting that the current market is more receptive to value-added teas.

The CS further noted to have held a meeting with the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) on cutting costs on its expenditure in a bid to boost the income of the farmers.

4K Clubs

Calling for the revival of 4K Clubs Linturi said the popular farming activity that was practiced in schools educated learners on agriculture and how to earn from it. The 4Ks stood for Kuungana, Kufanya, Kusaidia Kenya in Kiswahili, a clarion call to help the country be food secure. The clubs existed in every public primary schools but died in the early 1990s.  Asking Kenyans to embrace agriculture the CS noted that the country needs to reintroduce the 4K Clubs in schools if it is to be food sufficient.

“Every Kenyan should help the government by trying to produce food where he is. Let’s try the kitchen gardens for those living in apartments. We only sell food we produce after we have enough for our families. Kenyans should embrace agriculture and help the government in producing enough food for the Country by producing for their families,” Linturi added.


Linturi called on farmers to embrace new innovations and technologies in agriculture to boost yields and counter the impact of climate change which has greatly affected agricultural production in the country.

He noted that the government is seeking to revamp all the agriculture sectors including maize, wheat, avocado, macadamia, cotton, tea, coffee, fish, miraa, and dairy and beef farming among others. Linturi noted that boosting agricultural productivity can help reduce poverty and hunger.

The CS also asked Kenyans to plant trees to mitigate the effects of climate change. He asked Kenyans to heed to calls by President William Ruto so that Kenya can have five billion trees in ten years.

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