Farmers’ groups form alliance to boost agribusiness
Posted Monday, June 11 2012 at 18:49
Public and private stakeholders in agriculture have formed an alliance to enhance growth of agribusiness in Kenya.
The initiative by the Pan African Agribusiness and Agro-Industry Consortium (PanAAC), has been welcomed by players in the sector.
Ms Lucy Muchoki, the Chief Executive Officer at PanAAC, a non-governmental organisation, said the alliance would ensure there is maximum collaboration between the public and private sectors in the agriculture industry.
She said lack of co-operation had slowed down development in the sector which is the backbone of the economy and which employs majority of Kenyans both directly and indirectly.
The organisation, Kenya Agro-business and Agro-industry Alliance’ (KAAA), brings together stakeholders in dairy, cereals, traditional cash crops and horticulture.
But the alliance is not in competition with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) as it will only cover agribusiness.
With the agribusiness stakeholders and government working closely, Ms Muchoki said it would help tackle issues affecting the industry.
“The move is expected to ease the process of engagement due to a single reference point and ensure representation of private sector issues in consultative government forums, “ she said.
“Partnerships between the public and private sectors can help poor rural people lift themselves out of poverty,” Ms Muchoki added.
For instance, she said stakeholders in the dairy sectors have had to deal with their problems exclusively but with the alliance, they will have a stronger voice. The alliance will also empower farmers, she said.
PanAAC gives poor farmers seeds, chemicals and fertilisers and also helps to market their produce.
Speaking during a farmers meeting, Ms Muchoki said disorganisation in the private sector in agriculture has made engagement with the government difficult and that it was high time the growers came under one umbrella.
The move, she said has been supported by the government through the ministry of agriculture and they have donors to fund it.
She said public and private partnership in the industry was critical because of the complementary role played by both sectors in agriculture and also because such partnership was in line with the government’s Vision 2030.
Government officials, she said have acknowledged that the private sector has not received adequate cooperation and commitment as required and this has been one of the reasons Kenya has not seen an increase food production.