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India, WB plan to cut food supply deficit

The World Bank and India have promised to help Kenya adopt new agricultural technology to boost food production and cut reliance on imports.

A senior Indian government official said the technology will involve transfer of water harvesting technology, soil testing and use of micro-irrigation to make Kenya a food secure nation.

Ashok Dalwal, chief executive officer in the Ministry of Agriculture in India, said the technologies have helped his country to become food secure, adding that this can be replicated in Kenya.

“India has had tremendous steps in food production, thanks to the technology that we are using. It is the same thing that we want to share with Kenya,” he said yesterday during the South-to-South workshop organised by India and the World Bank.

He said India will help Kenya to adopt micro-irrigation technology that use minimal water.

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“Micro-irrigation helps to save water by more than half through efficient use of this scarce resource,” he said.

“In India, this method has helped us to double the area under irrigation to 12 million acres, making it the largest in the world.”

Engineering Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Richard Kanui said Kenya has established 10 agricultural technology centres where farmers are trained on modern practices.

“This initiative with India has come at the right time when we have 10 innovation centres countrywide, with this partnership expected to help farmers boost their production,” said Mr Kanui.

The World Bank urged policymakers to draft policies that promote the use of technology in agriculture and create infrastructure such as mini-irrigation projects to increase production

The World Bank representative said developing nations should share agriculture knowledge among themselves to reduce their research budget.

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