The 6th Edition of Agritec Africa, International Exhibition and Conference on Agriculture Technology & 6th Dairy Livestock and Poultry Expo Kenya, will be held in Nairobi in June this year.
The Exhibition will be based upon agriculture industry and focus on versatility on agriculture segment in different zones.
Speaking today during the curtain raiser event prior to the conference, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Andrew Tuimur said the government policy is to reduce post-harvest losses from 20 percent to 10 percent by 2022 and increase irrigated land by 255,000 acres through construction of water pans and de-silting of existing ones.
“There is thus a need to embrace modern technology and innovations in the entire value chain”, he added noting that the upcoming agri tech exhibition whose theme is to promote Agriculture through the use of Technology could not have come at a better time.
Dr. Tuimur added that technology is critical in contributing to the big four agenda because most of the materials derived from Agriculture need innovation and technology that will help improve on food security.
He explained that the government has started a programme of harvesting water in small pans that will help families in addressing the food security situation and currently around 4000 pans have been constructed in 16 counties and at the same time the government is desilting the old one that were put up long time ago.
“We have been talking about water and farmers have been thinking about rain. Now we are emphasizing that they change and think about water through the small pans in order to improve our irrigation which will contribute to the big four ”, he added
The CAS noted that with new innovation , food security is guaranteed and with new technology the government is looking at how it can lower cost of production in products saying that the cost of milk is still high at Ksh 20 plus including others crops in the entire value chain,
During the upcoming exhibition, Dr. Tuimur said Graintech innovative solution for feed, food and seed with be introduced for the first time and provide a platform for increased networking and detailed business engagements in dairy, poultry and livestock and grain related sectors.
Israeli Ambassador Noah Gal Gendler said Kenya has the right condition for soil , water and weather and thus should be the bread basket of not only the country but also for Africa and other parts of the world.
He gave an example of the flower industry in Kenya which has flourished for many years being one of the pioneer projects of Israel and this is proof that using innovative tecnologies in agriculture can enable farmers in the industry to leap over a generation in Agriculture.
Amb. Gendler further said that considering the average age of a farmer in Kenya is 60 year old, the Israeli Embassy sends 100 Kenyans yearly to Italy for an agro study programme which takes 11 months .
“These young ones will be the next generation farmers because they come back with knowledge of modern agriculture and are ready to face the challenges in the sector “, he said noting that this exhibition has come at the right time.
Indian High Commissioner Rahul Chhabra said through a line of credit to Kenya, India has been assisting the Country to realize the big four agenda and currently through the renovation and completion of rivatex textile factory that is worth USD 29.95 and will be in full stream in the next 2 months.
He mentioned another line of credit that India is collaborating with Kenya on Agricultural mechanization where they will be getting USD 100 million that will be utilized in irrigation, cold-storage and for agricultural-extension activities.
“Although it has not taken off yet everything and all paper work has been done and its only waiting for the formalities to be activated”, he said noting that once done it will have the potential to significantly improve the agricultural sector.
Amb. Chhabra said India has also be giving scholarships to agricultural officers who are sent to India for training in technology and so far about 400 Kenyans were sent last year.
Agriculture and Food Authority Interim Director General Anthony Mureithi said technology provides answers to the myriad of challenges facing the agricultural sector.
“We continue grappling with high cost of production in the value chain right from farm level but through innovation and technology there is an opportunity to substantially reduce the cost of production and deploy sustainable interventions”, he said.
Agritech Africa CEO Sanyal Desai said over 225 companies from across the globe are expected in the three day exhbition with over 15,000 visitors.