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January 22, 2018

UN wants rural farmers to double their yields by 2028

Small scale farmers gather their maize produce in Weiwei farmers store in Central pokot  Sep 07 2011.Photo/ Jack Owuor
Small scale farmers gather their maize produce in Weiwei farmers store in Central pokot Sep 07 2011.Photo/ Jack Owuor

Rural farmers in Kenya are expected to benefit from a new United Nations plan seeking to double production by 2028.

Late last month, the UN announced a “decade on family farming” next year to help small holder farmers across the world and mainly in developing countries.

The declaration, which will be implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, could be key for Kenya where family-run farms are the basic food producers.

“And 2019 will mark the beginning of the UN Decade of Family Farming, drawing more attention to the people who produce more than 80 per cent of the world’s food but whose own members, paradoxically, are often the most vulnerable to hunger,” FAO said in a statement yesterday.

In Kenya, farming accounts for 65 per cent of export earnings, and provides employment for more than 80 per cent of the population, the Ministry of Agriculture says.

The UN-led decade of family farming ends in 2028.

FAO further said the Sustainable Development Goals have a strong focus on smallholder and family farmers, and target to double their incomes by 2030.

“Policy attention and investments must focus not only on increasing yields and incomes, but also on a more complex set of objectives, including securing rights over natural resources - such as land, water and seeds,” the FAO statement said.

The resolution calls for FAO and the Ifad to support the implementation of the Decade of Family Farming, and notes more countries are making significant progress in developing public policies in favour of family farming.

The UN also set May 20 as the World Bee Day. Bees and other pollinators enable many plants reproduce.

“I welcome the UN member countries’ endorsement of these key food and agriculture issues. This will raise the momentun towards achieving Zero Hunger by 2030,” said FAO director-general José Graziano da Silva.

Recently, insect scientist Dr Wanja Kinuthia, the head of the Kenya Pollination Project, said poor agricultural practices nd climate change are killing bees and other animals.

“Excessive use of pesticides, deforestation, intense tillage of land is causing the decline of bees,” she said.



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