Review financing system in favour of Africa – DP Gachagua at UN Food Summit

DP Rigathi Gachagua at the UN Food Summit in Rome

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has called for a review of the global funding system in favour of Africa.

Addressing the UN Food Systems Summit in Rome on Monday, Mr Gachagua said as currently structured, the international funding model is not inclusive enough and particularly in the agriculture sector.

“The present financial architecture has been very disadvantageous to the African continent which faces huge challenges.   The continent needs to be looked at differently,’’ the DP, who is representing President William Ruto  at the high-level Summit comprising Heads of State and Government, said.

With a better financing and inclusive system, the Deputy President added, African countries will cope better.

‘’We have just come out of the worst drought in 40 years after five subsequent failed rain seasons. “Therefore, we are calling upon the world and all our partners to look at the issues of the African continent from a different perspective and apply a very aggressive way of putting funds aside to enable the continent to produce enough food and have surplus for export,’’ Mr Gachagua observed.

Kenya, he said, was working closely with partners to improve food production amid the emerging challenges, including the recent prolonged drought, pressing for reconsideration of financial support for the continent. 

“We are in partnership with global partners to enhance food production. But there must be a different financial architecture for African countries,’’ he emphasised.

During a luncheon hosted by Prime minister Giorgia Meloni for some leaders from the Horn of Africa, Mr Gachagua requested the Italian government to fast-track resumption of the stalled Arror and Kimwarer Dam projects. He pointed out that the dams, which are crucial to food security, were stalled because of political expediency.

At the Summit, Mr Gachagua said the Ruto administration is implementing turnaround strategies in various sub-sectors, especially those that will impact the people at the bottom of the economic pyramid. 

He pointed out that the Hustler Fund is accessible to millions of people who are contributing to the growth of the agricultural sector. 

“As an administration, we have changed the entire strategy in financing food systems by putting more money at the bottom of the economic pyramid where most of the food is produced. We have rolled out the Hustler Fund for the access of the majority of the people in the food production chain,” he said. 

To enhance production, the DP added that the Government has invested over Sh50 billion to boost various interventions in the sector top of it the distribution of subsidized fertilisers to increase food production.

Mr Gachagua also said the administration is keen on the success of the school meals programme. 

“School enrollment has doubled in Kenya because of intervening school feeding programmes,” he said. 

The Deputy President is accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Mithika Linturi (Agriculture), Ezekiel Machogu,( Education), The National Treasury PS Chris Kiptoo, Nandi Governor Stephen Sang and Kirinyaga Senator and Senate Agriculture Committee chairperson James Murango.

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