A farmer’s lobby -the Kenya National Farmers Federation (KENAFF) has kicked off an ambitious farmer-driven national farm forestry programme with a plan to plant 50 billion trees over the next 10 years.
Making the announcement yesterday KENAFF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Mwenda M’Mailutha said his organization would support the government’s Regreening Kenya Initiative because it has the data base of all Kenyan farmers.
He said increasing the desired 10 per cent forest cover in Kenya has been a mirage because farmers who own the land have not been involved in the past.
M’Mailutha said it is for that reason that KENAFF has decided to team up with government and mobilise farmers to plant trees on their lands to achieve the goal of 50 billion trees by the year 2030.
He made the remarks at the Farmers Conference Centre in Thogoto, Kiambu during the KENAFF National Farmers Assembly where they agreed to support the government’s agricultural transformative agenda.
M’Mailutha also commented on the recent declaration of drought as national disaster by the President, calling for better coordination and improved sharing of information.
He said for instance while certain regions in the country are drought stricken other like Nyandarua have excess food some wasting away which could easily feed the hungry regions.
At the same time KENAFF said it shall continue to mobilize and registering farmers all over the country and to maintain a credible national farmers’ database to support value chain based agricultural development in the country.
KENAFF will also strengthen youth engagement in the agricultural sector, set up a national youth development programme to mobilize young people leverage opportunities in the sector.
They will also help build the Future Farmers of Kenya by supporting the 4K Clubs in primary and secondary schools across the country through KENAFF sub-county offices.
It will also promote the innovation and ICT solutions to redressing farmers’ challenges from production, to post harvest, value addition and marketing.
“KENAFF is already doing this through the KENAFF USSD code *501# that offers a rich menu on Covid-19, weather, market facilitation and technical advisory services,’’ said M’Mailutha.
KENAFF will also promote and entrench business thinking among all small holder farmers in Kenya to ensure more money into the pockets of farmers.
M’Mailutha underscored the great importance of working with other sectors to not only re-invigorate the agricultural sector but also to sustain the gains already made.