By Cally Imbayi
Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Livestock Development Mithika Linturi has reiterated the government’s commitment to support agricultural training and promote the growth of agriculture in the country.
Speaking during Bukura Agricultural College’s 26th graduation ceremony held, the CS said the government will continue to provide an enabling environment for agriculture to thrive and work closely with stakeholders to address the challenges facing the sector.
“Through collaborative efforts with other government agencies, private sector players and development partners, food security can be achieved in the country,” he said.
The CS affirmed that the Ministry of Agriculture was committed to implement policies and programmes that promote sustainable agricultural practices, improve access to credit and markets and enhance the resilience of small-scale farmers to climate shocks.
“The Government has invested in irrigation infrastructure, increased funding for agricultural research and extension services and provided subsidies for inputs such as fertilizers and seeds to boost production,” the CS stated, further adding that the government has also established the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund to provide affordable credit to farmers and agribusinesses.
He revealed that nothing can be achieved without proper training and lauded Bukura Agricultural College for training and equipping young Kenyans with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to contribute to the growth of the agricultural sector.
He said the quality of the college’s graduates in the labour market was unparalleled and a testimony to their commitment to ensuring that the trainees receive the best possible skills, knowledge and attitudes.
He challenged the graduands to be agents of change in their respective communities adding that they had a critical role to play in transforming Kenya’s agricultural sector.
He applauded the college for making efforts to infuse aspects of climate smartness in all its programmes, adding further that such efforts will help the government mitigate, adopt to climate change and build resilience within the farming community.
He appreciated the college for ensuring its curricula is responsive to labour market needs.
“The skill-based approach to training implemented throughout the college is a sure way to ensure our graduates are competent and ready to contribute to improving livelihoods through formal employment as well as self-employment in agribusiness,” the CS said.
He applauded the college for partnering with relevant stakeholders to support agricultural training as well as research and extension, arguing that partnerships with like-minded institutions to help the college achieve its mandate will ease pressure on the college’s resources, improve its image and enhance the skills of trainees.
“I wish to recognize the support from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the German Cooperation for development (GIZ), the Anglican Development Services – Western, the County Government of Kakamega, the Netherlands government through the Orange Knowledge Project.” he concluded.