Siaya to collect farmers’ data to improve food security

It will be for planning, budgeting and food productivity purposes, official said

In Summary

• The county has been 'operating blindly', making it difficult to plan and budget

• Officials sought to allay fears that the information would be used to tax them

A farmer attends to his crop at a village in Yimbo, Bondo subcounty, Siaya county
A farmer attends to his crop at a village in Yimbo, Bondo subcounty, Siaya county

The Siaya government will begin collecting data from farmers to support productivity and enhance food security.

Speaking in Bondo subcounty yesterday, subcounty administrator Vincent Kanyangonda dismissed fears the government is after tax defaulters.

“I know many farmers will be hesitant to give information about what they own for fear that the information would be used to tax them," he said.

"I want to assure that we have no power to tax anybody and that the data collected will be used to determine how much fertiliser or seeds and tractors are needed."

He was speaking during the conclusion of a three-day training for 110 enumerators.

The data collection initiative is titled 'Siaya county comprehensive farmers’ registration mapping and profiling'.

Kanyangonda said currently, the county government is operating blindly, making it difficult to plan and budget.

The 25-day exercise, which begins today, will see enumerators visit farmers in their homes to inquire about the acreage of land and number of animals owned, among other variables.

Kanyangonda said the data collection was at the heart of the "Nyalore" government led by Governor James Orengo, who is committed to ensuring that not only Bondo but the entire Siaya county is food-secure.

The administrator said the enumerators would use the national government structure, such as chiefs, to reach the farmers.

He asked the farmers to cooperate with the enumerators.

Kanyangonda said after the data collection, farmers will be trained on productivity.

The county government intends to reduce the cost of farming through subsidising the cost of hiring tractors and seeds, he said.

“The county government intends to transform agriculture in Siaya to agribusiness to create wealth and employment," Kanyangonda said.

"The entry point will be to boost production by training farmers, while we continue subsidising the cost of production on the farm inputs."

Subcounty supervisor Eliakim Ambajo assured residents the data collected will not be used for any other purpose besides planning.

The comprehensive farmers registration mapping and profiling is a national exercise that will be conducted in 45 counties, save for Nairobi and Mombasa.

This is through a collaboration between the national and county governments.

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