With research findings indicating that Kenya is increasingly vulnerable to food insecurity due to shrinking yields, Agro Dealers have began to take steps to address the situation.
They see the formation of county level agro-dealer associations as a much-needed uniting voice to articulate issues related to food security. The associations, they argue, could provide a platform for lobbying and influencing county agricultural policy formulations; enforcement of code of conduct, addressing the regulatory framework, and financing needs of their business. Active County Agro Dealer Asssociations have been recorded in Nyeri, Siaya, Busia, Vihiga, Kilifi, Embu, Meru, Taita Taveta and Kericho.
During the recent Mazao Forum, a national Agro Dealer conference to discuss matters food security, discussants emphasized the need for Agro Dealers to set up demo plots for farmers to learn from. Demo plots would be a good avenue to showcase and relate what is in the field with the seed on the shelves, hence erasing doubts on the suitability of the variety to certain ecological zones. The Agro Inputs Stockists would also benefit from first hand practical knowledge on crops and the varieties on sale, thus providing the authority they need in advising farmers.
The Agro Dealers welcomed the MbeguChoice platform as a novel innovation that will drive the choice of seed variety that matches the various ecological zones in the country. Agro Dealers promised to expose the platform to all their retailing stockist clients and farmers.
Hon. Nderitu Gachagua, Chairperson for the Council of Governors committee on Agriculture, assured Agro Dealers of the County Governments’ commitment to increase budget allocations for the agriculture sector, to drive sustainable development and food security in the 47 counties. “Agriculture is the major sector in almost all the counties in the country”, said the Governor. “The two levels of government in the country have goodwill to work with the private sector for sustainable development in the sector”, he concluded.
Nyeri County Governor, Hon. Nderitu Gachagua addressing Agro Dealers at the Mazao Forum
The Kenya Markets Trust CEO, Paul Wanyagah, asked the Agro Dealers to embrace new trends, in light of their critical role in the crop seed value chain. “If you are to be the sponsors of tomorrow, especially in matters food security, there’s need to change with times and become more responsive than reactive”
KMT CEO, Wanyagah, giving his remarks at the Forum
During the forum, close to 20 companies in the agribusiness sector exhibited their merchandise and services to Agro Dealers.
Exhibitions site at the Forum. Agrodealers were exposed to a variety of merchandise and services offered by a wide variety of Agrobusinesses