In a bid to promote urban farming, Nakuru County has started the process of constituting a board to monitor food security in the region.
The proposed Nakuru County Urban Food Security and Agriculture Advisory Board is one of the highlights in the Urban Food and Agriculture 2019 Bill.
The Bill, which is undergoing public participation, will be tabled in the House before the end of this year.
The board will advise the executive on ways of promoting urban food security and agricultural activities in the county.
Agriculture executive Immaculate Njuthe Maina said that with a fast rising population, there is need to think of a food system to cater for the urban population. Nakuru town has an estimated population of more than 500,000.
The Bill will support the policies on urban agriculture which include growing, processing and distribution of food.
Dr Maina said with the rampant land sub subdivision into small commercial and resident plots, the county was keen to promote sustainable agriculture that fits small lands system in urban areas.
“We want to teach the residents how to maximize the use their small plots irrespective whether they own the land or not by growing vegetables on their balconies, hanging gardens and keeping poultry to ensure they are food secure,” said Dr Maina.
She said the marketing of produce from the rural areas will form a key component of the campaign to intensify urban farming with rural farmers being linked to urban consumers to boost food production and increase yields.
Dr Maina said that small scale horticulture farming, fish farming and small scale livestock farming will be part of the county agenda to make the urban residents grow their own food.
“The rate at which large scale farms in Nakuru are being subdivided into small plots is alarming and as a county, we want to teach residents to start small backyard gardens to cushion them against food insecurity,” said Dr Maina.