The Agricultural Value Chain in Africa is unique, The United States of America has structures put in place to curb exploitation of farmers by middlemen- this is achieved by the Fair Food Programme.
The Kenyan Government has braced up their effort to tame this issue by registering all farmers in Kenya. The government has registered two million farmers in a nationwide drive meant to weed out cartels that undermine operations in the Agriculture sector.
CS Willy Bett (pictured) on Friday said the process will also help in resource planning and in taming middlemen that exploit farmers.
“The registration will help the government develop an organised system of knowing the number of farmers who require subsidised fertiliser, the number of acreage per farmer and other farming needs. We plan to register all farmers by 2018,” he said.
Bett said the ministry does not have information on the total number of farmers and what is available is scattered. The lack of real data, he said, has always made it difficult for the government to allocate required resources to farmers — like during drought.
“We have data in our systems, but it is not adequate to support our activities. This is hampering planning and investment and sometimes leads to conflict in terms of the information disseminated from different platforms,” he said.
Dr Gabriel Rugalema, the representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Kenya, said African countries lag behind in having accurate information, despite having an endowed environment that should support it.
Kenya will on June 14-16 hold a Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition Conference at the KICC. This seeks to mobilise political support in ensuring availability, accessibility and usability of data for agricultural planning and decision making.