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The Way I See It: Improving Livelihoods… But Useless Politics

by litfeed
2 mins read

By Jay Kioko

The agriculture sector is the backbone of any economy. It provides the basic ingredients to mankind and raw material for industrialisation. How much has been done in the area of agriculture in Kenya in the last 10 years? Very little if you ask me. I was surprised when I learnt recently that a significant amount of wheat we consume locally is imported from Russia. Weren’t we self sufficient in wheat production sometimes in the past? What went wrong?

What happened to our agriculture sector? Day in day out maize farmers weep because of the mistreatment they get from the government, a government that’s supposed to protect them. Just like it happened with coffee, some farmers are no longer interested in growing maize anymore.

The aspiring presidential candidates are not even giving this sector the kick that it deserves. Rather some are promising the citizens a cash pay out of ksh 6000 every month. How sustainable is this?.

The ksh 6000 is enough to buy one beehive for a household. The Chinese proverb used by many NGO practitioners, “You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.” holds a lot of water. I am not saying that each household should get a beehive. All I am saying is that the government should think. There are many creative and innovative ways in which the government can improve the livelihoods of communities… But wapi. There is a huge disconnect between the government and the man living in the village. What happened to the Agriculture Extension Workers who used to roam the villages in the 80s and 90s advising farmers on better methods of farming so as to maximize farm production?

Useless politics, greed and lack of clear direction and thinking in government will continue driving this country into a bottomless pit of poverty and misery. Sad…

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