Posted on :Thursday , 21st January 2021
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nation Women (UN) have formally kicked off a Shs 7 million project aimed at strengthening womenâ€™s capacity to meaningfully engage in Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA).
The four-year project in three Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) Counties of Laikipia, West Pokot and Kitui is funded by the Korea International Corporation Agency (KOICA).
The project seeks to promote an approach to agricultural transformation in a changing climate in Kenyaâ€™s ASAL regions that ensures gender-sensitive responses to climate change and to resilience building.
Ministry of Public Service and Gender Cabinet Secretary Prof. Margaret Kobia lauded the project as a timely intervention especially at this time when Kenya is recovering from the locust invasion and grappling with the impact of climate change on food security and household incomes.
Kobia noted that Kenyaâ€™s Vision 2030, identifies agriculture as one of the key movers to deliver the 10 per cent annual economic growth rate envisaged under the economic pillar.
â€œUnder the Big 4 Agenda, President Uhuru Kenyattaâ€™s administration has laid great emphasis on the agricultural sector contribution aimed at chieving 100 per cent food security and nutrition,â€ said Kobia who presided over the launch of the project held in Nairobi.
â€œThe objectives of the programme are wholly fully aligned with relevant Governments policies and will go a long way to advance progress made towards women empowerment, gender equality, climate resilience, economic grow job creation, and food security and overall. economic growth,â€ she added.
The CS further stated that it was her hope that through the project, more young women will be encouraged to adopt agriculture as an occupation or business so as to sustain the positive outcomes of the programme when evaluated.
Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Kenya H.E Choi Yeonghan, said that Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) supports agriculture and food security, among other areas, with the aim of reflecting Koreaâ€™s comparative advantage, while at the same time corresponding to the SDGs, as well as the priority for the development of our partner countries.
FAO representative to Kenya Mrs Carla Mucavi noted that they recognize that food security starts and ends with women, who account for 60-75 percent of the labour force in smallholder agriculture in Kenya, as well as in many other countries in Africa, said the Ambassador.
Mucavi observed that within the four-year period the project will increase the technical know-how of farmers on CSA approaches, unlock market driven value-chains for women and improve their capacity to participate in productive land and water management, as well as increase the women in agribusinessâ€™ access to finance.
â€œThis CSA project will ensure the 2,400 beneficiary â€“ which include both women and men â€“ will achieve economic progress that will sustain beyond the project, with impact-orientated activities and monitoring,â€ said Mutavati.
Agricultural production remains the main source of income for most rural communities, and the increased risk of crop and livestock production failure, associated with increased frequency of extreme climate events, poses a major threat to food security and poverty reduction.