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Kenyan farmers petition EAC states to boost agricultural financing

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan farmers on Tuesday petitioned East African Community (EAC) member states to allocate 10 percent of their national budgets to the agriculture sector as outlined in the African Union (AU) Malabo declaration of 2014.

Alphayo Kuruna, chairman of Kenya Small Scale Farmers Forum (KESSFF), blamed delay in implementing the declaration to rampant poverty that affects small-holder farmers who produce over 80 percent of food in the region.

“The 10 percent allocation should be implemented by the governments during the coming 2019/2020 national budgets to help achieve food security and uplift poor people out of poverty,” Kuruna told journalists in Nairobi.

He added that the increase will help end hunger and malnutrition among people in the region once it is implemented by the six EAC member states.

Kuruna said that adequate financing of agriculture sector will ensure progressive realization of adequate food availability that will increase trade and enhance resilience due to climate variability.

“We are suffering due to failure to implement commitments in agricultural development at national, regional and international level,” said Kuruna.

He said that once the Malabo declaration, which was signed by African heads of states, is implemented, it will help improve sustainable agriculture by nearly 50 percent, alleviate poverty of half of the regional population, and increase by three fold intra-regional trade.

According to a Malabo Biennial Review report released in January, Rwanda has allocated 6.1 percent, while Kenya, Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania have allocated 4.8, 4.7, 4.4 and 3.1 percent respectively. South Sudan did not submit data.

Kuruna said his organization is seeking 1 million signatures across the region to demand increased agriculture sector funding from national leaders.

“We intend to channel our demand to implement the Malabo declaration in all the EAC states through the EAC Council of Ministers, the secretary general of EAC, and the speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA),” said Kuruna.

“We will ensure that the EAC member states put in place all inclusive national and regional platforms for enhancing mutual accountability to actions and results,” Kuruna said.



Kenya to host international miller’s conference in October

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- An international cereal millers conference will take place in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Oct. 22-25, an official said on Tuesday.

Nick Hutchinson, chairman of the organizing committee, said the 29th Annual International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Mideast and Africa Conference and Expo will be attended by some 1,600 millers from countries from Africa and the Middle East.

During the conference, delegates will attend panel discussions and training sessions on such topics as food safety management and technology use in food storage, Hutchinson told reporters in Nairobi.



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