Counties move to boost food security

Friday August 3 2018

Kakamega Deputy Governor, Philip Kutima looks on as an official explains a point on a new variety of sweet potatoes at the Bukura Agricultural training College during a youth agribusiness exhibition.

Kakamega Deputy Governor, Philip Kutima looks on as an official explains a point on a new variety of sweet potatoes at the Bukura Agricultural Training College during a youth agribusiness exhibition. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NMG 

FAITH NYAMAI
By FAITH NYAMAI
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Fourteen counties that make the Lake Region Economic Bloc are working to develop smart food security solutions that will augment the manufacturing pillar of the Big Four Agenda.

The governors in the 14 counties have partnered with the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) and The Friedrich Naumann Foundation to have youths trained on various innovations and technologies that will boost food security.

IREN will train 165 participants aged 18 and above from Bomet, Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kericho, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nyamira, Nandi, Siaya, Trans Nzoia and Vihiga.

The governors formed the bloc and identified food insecurity as a challenge that needs to be addressed through technology and innovation, among other tools.

In a joint press statement in Nairobi this week, Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya said the main impediments to optimum agricultural productivity in the region include subsistence farming.

The initiative aims at identifying scalable food security compatible technologies and innovations for use by farmers and enterprises in agribusiness value chains.

The participants have been grouped into County Technology and Innovation Solution Hubs to conceptualise and develop food security technologies and innovations.

Friedrich Naumann Foundation East Africa Senior Programme Officer Veni Swai said finding innovative solutions to food security challenges is paramount.

“We are proud to be partners in this challenge,” he said.

The innovators will showcase the innovations during the IREN Technologies and Innovation Challenge (ITIC-2018) trade fair later in November. IREN has managed over 18 business competitions for the last 15 year years.

It has for the last three years created screening and training platforms for start-ups and small and medium sized eEnterprises across the East African region.

Its focus areas include public policy analysis, enterprise development and consultancy.