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FOOD SECURITY

Use technology in agriculture, state urged

Kenya's dependency on rain-fed agriculture cannot end hunger

In Summary
  • Kenya has great agricultural potential as it has abundant land and labour
  • But most parts of the country have no rain, making country food insecure
President Uhuru Kenyatta.
President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Image: FILE

Food security, one of President Uhuru Kenyatta's big four agenda, will only be realised through use of agricultural technology, an expert has said .

Alex Otieno, a graduate of Mie University in Japan, faulted Kenya's dependency on rain-fed agriculture, saying it will not solve the current challenges.

"There is a very big gap in the agricultural systems in Kenya and Japan. Kenya has great potential when it comes to agricultural production as it has land and labour. However, our systems are still outdated,"Otieno, an agriculture engineer, said.

He said most parts of the country have no rain, making them food insecure.

"We should not rely on rain-fed agriculture," he said.

He made the remarks last week when graduates of Japanese universities made presentations on what they learnt.

Otieno's presentation focused on efficiency of surface irrigation systems.

The graduates proposed how they plan to use the knowledge they learnt to advance food security.

Japan International Cooperation Agency Kenya office representative Satoshi Sugimoto was present.

Otieno said Keny's irrigation potential has not been fully tapped.

 

Otieno said every farm in Japan has an irrigation system.

Otieno said green houses in Japan are advanced as they use some of the best technology.

He said use of agricultural technology will attract youths to farming.

The engineer said water wasted through run-off should be harvested and used for irrigation.

Another graduate from Utsunomiya University, Harun Kimathi , made a presentation on control of bacterial wilt in tomatoes.

"I identified how bacterial wilt was affecting tomatoes. The next step is to look for ways to suppress it,"Kimathi said.

Kimathi said farmers should incorporate integrated pest control to avoid using chemicals that will leave chemical residues in food.

Approximately 45 per cent of government revenue is derived from agriculture and the sector contributes over 75 per cent of industrial raw materials and more than 50 per cent of export earnings.

The sector is the largest employer, accounting for 60 per cent of the total employment.