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FAO Regional Office for Africa

FAO, EU support Kenya Government to strengthen food and nutrition policy

Creating enabling policy environments for better food security and nutrition

FAO's Mechanization Programme for Conservation Agriculture Farmers in Kenya, No-Till Planters and Success Stories. Photo: ©FAO/Luis Tato

16 May 2018, Nairobi — The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Union (EU) are supporting the Government of Kenya to identify priority areas of food security and nutrition policies towards ending hunger and malnutrition in the region.

“It is clear that with a business-as-usual approach, this target will not be achieved, and the commitment from all stakeholders is required, said Abebe Haile-Gabriel, the FAO Africa Regional Programme Leader and FAO Representative for Ghana.

Speaking at a two-day regional workshop of the Food and Nutrition Security, Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) Programme in Nairobi, Kenya, he noted that “Intensification and acceleration of effective partnerships are needed for making tangible progress, focusing efforts on turning these commitments into results through concerted actions by all stakeholders”.

FIRST is an FAO-EU partnership that seeks to strengthen the enabling environment for food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture, through policy and institutions, investment planning, and the mobilization of public sector resources allocation and investment, and the strengthening of government and stakeholder implementation capacities.

The event, organized within the framework of the FIRST programme, attracted over 60 delegates from 14 African countries, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the EU and FAO.

It is aimed atstrengthening FIRST’s effectiveness in delivering policy assistance to 14 African countries – Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Swaziland and Uganda – and ECOWAS.

Kenya’s Agriculture Principal Secretary, Richard Lesiyampe likewise commended the policy assistance from the FAO and the EU anddescribed it as “timely and valuable”.

The Agriculture Principal Secretary expressed optimism that the country would achieve 100% food and nutrition security through, “increasing production and productivity; driving smallholder productivity and agro-processing; reducing cost of food; and improving the institutional and legal environment for investment.

Agriculture accounts for more than 26 per cent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and another 27 per cent indirectly through linkages with other sectors and provides a livelihood for more than 65 per cent of the population. However, a changing climate and increasingly unpredictable rainfall has caused three years of drought and now major floods.

For his part, Andrea Ferrero, Head of the EU Delegation to Kenya, stated the EU had already allocated 190 million Euros to Kenya’s Agricultural development under the 11th European Development Fund for the period 2013 – 2020.

“Of these funds, 60.5 million is supporting programme to build the resilience of communities in the arid and semi-arid lands through the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA); 10 million towards land policy harmonization and performance programme through FAO; 6 million to the second phase of the Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) to support policy coordination; 45 million to support the integration of smallholder farmers into value chains and 50 million towards the development of climate-proofed infrastructure, including water harvesting and rural roads”.


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