Kenya launches framework for invasive pests, weeds management
The Ministry of Agriculture has launched a strategy for the management of migratory and invasive pests, a culmination of concerted efforts to develop a framework for the management of migratory and invasive pests and weeds in Kenya.
The five-year strategy which runs from 2022 to 2027 identifies seven priority pillars for a comprehensive migratory pest management system and will provide a platform for a coordinated collaborative approach.
The Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy ( ASTGS) aims at transforming the agricultural sector to achieve the aspiration of Kenya’s constitution for every person to have adequate food of acceptable quality in the right to be free from hunger.
Data from the ministry of Agriculture reveals that the desert locust invasion experience in Kenya over the last two years posed a severe food security threat to over four million people affecting a total of 32 counties in the northeastern, coastal, central , eastern and rift valley regions of Kenya.
The ministry collaborated with various stakeholders from national and international organizations and donor communities to support the restoration of the livelihoods of farmers whose enterprises were damaged during the invasion.
Speaking during the launch, the Cabinet Secretary of Agriculture Peter Munya said that agriculture is a key priority area in the realization of Kenya`s vision 2030 and a major contributor to the economic growth of the country and the big 4 agenda prioritizes the realization of food security for all Kenyans.
The Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy is focussing on increasing the incomes of small-scale farmers and pastoralists, increasing agricultural output and value-added products, building household food resilience, prioritization of knowledge and skills , research innovation and data and strengthening sustainability and crisis management.
The ministry, however, says the realization of the ASTGS has been consistently constrained by unreliable rainfall, the prevalence of pests and diseases, low adoption of modern technologies, low productivity, high costs of production and the negative effects of climate change.
“Climate change has exacerbated the emergence of pests and diseases that have not been experienced over a long period of time. migratory pests and invasive pests are posing a new challenge in the East African region with devastating effects on the environment, national food security, and livelihood of farmers,” said CS Munya.
In respect to these challenges, the agricultural ministry with the support of FAO and World Bank formed the ASTGS that identified seven priority pillars for a comprehensive pest management system, a strategy that will establish modern information and modern management system to strengthen surveillance, forecasting and ensure timely and effective control operations.
The ministry will also support the development of the relevant institutional, policy, and regulatory frameworks, prioritized in the strategy including establishment of a funding mechanism within the government that ensures resources are available for quick and effective response to any invasion.
A multitask stakeholder migratory pest management platform will be established to provide a well-coordinated strategy steering framework. This will guide formulation and operationalization of sustainable resource mobilization plans for the implementation of this strategy.