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Governors want deadline for 10pc minimum agriculture budget

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:Kiambu governor Dr James Nyoro. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The Council of Governors (CoG) want counties to provide a timeline when devolved units will set aside a minimum of 10 percent of their annual budgets for agriculture.
  • James Nyoro, the Kiambu governor and the chairperson of Agriculture and Cooperatives committee of CoG, told Parliament that counties have been directed to provide timelines for achieving the set goals.
  • The Senate and the CoG agriculture committee had resolved last October that county governments would allocate at least 10 percent of their annual budget for agricultural functions in the counties.

The Council of Governors (CoG) want counties to provide a timeline when devolved units will set aside a minimum of 10 percent of their annual budgets for agriculture.

James Nyoro, the Kiambu governor and the chairperson of Agriculture and Cooperatives committee of CoG, told Parliament that counties have been directed to provide timelines for achieving the set goals.

The Senate and the CoG agriculture committee had resolved last October that county governments would allocate at least 10 percent of their annual budget for agricultural functions in the counties.

“We have asked each county to give us timeline to put 10 percent as the minimum budget to agriculture. They are currently putting between four and five percent,” Dr Nyoro told the Senate committee on Agriculture.

He said the CoG’s Agriculture and Cooperatives committee will also lobby the national government to put more money to agriculture like countries such as Ethiopia, Rwanda and Ghana.

“As counties who are mandated to handle the agriculture function in the Constitution. We must set the pace and agree on deadlines on achieving the 10 percent minimum budget,” Dr Nyoro said.

Dr Nyoro addressed the virtual session of the Senate committee on the status of implementation resolutions agreed during a consultative meeting in October 2020 on issues affecting the agriculture sector.

During the retreat held in Mombasa, the Senate and the CoG agreed that development partners must directly involve counties through the council in the development and implementation of any agricultural related programmes and projects in the counties. The meeting also resolved that the Senate summon Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya to elaborate on the policy framework that is being applied to undertake the ongoing agricultural reforms by the ministry.

Dr Nyoro yesterday accused the Ministry of Agriculture of sidelining counties in the development of several Bills.

“We are concerned that the ministry has drafted several Bills for introduction in Parliament without consulting us. Agriculture is a devolved function and our input is critical,” Dr Nyoro said.