By Rogers Aghan February 7, 2023, The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Department earlier launched the Kenya Integrated Agriculture Management Information System phase II (KIAMIS), geared toward registering farmers and creating a focused farmer’s database.
KIAMIS is a digital space that enhances the ministry’s efforts to organize and compile farmer’s data hence enabling a point of reference during fund release aimed to support all farmers across 17 counties.
Speaking at the event, Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Mithika Linturi, said that the Kenya Kwanza Government intends to achieve sustainable systems for increasing agricultural productivity, nutritional security, and ensuring affordability of basic food items.
Linturi reiterated that the Ministry has demonstrated the use of KIAMIS, by registering farmers in Uasin Gishu and Nyandarua counties and implemented the fertilizer subsidy on a pilot basis.
He added that the outcomes of the pilot suggested that KIAMIS is capable of helping the Ministry in implementing the sustainable E-subsidy program, and addressing some of the issues challenging fertilizer subsidy programs.
Linturi said that the lack of accountability is the foremost challenge facing the Ministry because of the inability to fully support farmers’ programs, adding that recent statistics show a list of only 1.3 million validated farmers available in a country of 6.4 million farmers.
“To overcome this challenge, the government has launched a rapid national farmers’ registration through the National Government Administration, including the Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs, and village elders, leading to an increment of the registered farmers up to 4.2 million,” said Linturi.
He revealed that the Ministry intends to work with the county government to ensure that they achieve accuracy regarding data which could enable them to distribute the right amount of fertilizers and seedlings as required by farmers depending on the acreage of land.
The CS said that fertilizers have been released in Kitale, Narok, and Bomet at a cost of Sh3500 and has urged farmers to buy the fertilizers.
Linturi nonetheless disclosed that the Ministry has held discourses with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to help them expand the KIAMIS initiative, a system that has helped them validate all farmers in a known central database.
Meanwhile, Carfa Mucavi, from the FAO team said that her team is willing to partner with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Department in supporting farmers with mechanization and the other materials they require in their activities.
Also, Anna Brandt, Sweden’s Ambassador to Kenya, who was also in attendance, stated that the Swedish government is ready to support Kenya farmers by marketing their products and educating them on new methods of farming.
“The government of Sweden has donated US$5.2 million to help the Ministry with the technical equipment needed to improve the Agriculture sector.” Said Brandt.
The Ministry is using the KIAMIS platform to digitize the farmers’ records and ensure collection and sharing of data and statistics to support decision and policy making.