Food shortage is a major issue in many developing nations. Hunger and famine continues to claim lives in sub-Saharan Africa, robbing its people dignity. In the past measures have been put into place in a bid to curb this trend, however a series of recurrence has been witnessed in various parts of Kenya. This is a problematic area to any nations that focus and seeks to engender development. It is imperative for nations to get to the root course of the matter and avoid scratching the surface in the hope of warding off the problem. There is therefore need for policy makers to concentrate on drafting new policies that will hold stakeholders responsible to aversion of hunger in Kenya, strengthen measures that espouse food security. Once the policy is adopted it will be necessary for the government to create awareness so as to encourage the public to own the ideas.
According to research agriculture remains the backbone of the Kenyan economy. It is the single most important sector in the economy, contributing approximately 24% of the GDP ( Gross Domestic Products), and employing 75% of the national labour force (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2011). Given its importance, the performance of the sector is therefore reflected in the performance of the whole economy (Institute for Development Studies, 2006). Kenya’s agricultural sector directly influences overall economic performance through its contribution to GDP. Periods of high economic growth rates have been synonymous with increased agricultural growth (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2012)
The development of agriculture is equally important for poverty reduction since a big proportion of the population depend on agriculture as their main source of livelihoods. When agriculture flourishes, the impact is felt by a large section of the population hence improved quality of life. The development of the sector is therefore strategic for the growth of the economy as a whole.
Chapter Five of the Constitution provides the principles of land policy, regulation of land use, environmental management and the requisite legislation. There are 131 pieces of legislation relating to agriculture and ten line ministries. The existence of fragmented legislation and institutions has often led to uncertainty, disparity and confusion. It is within this context that Parliament is debating key Bills that seek to consolidate all the agriculture related legislation.
ILA’s Areas of Engagement-Agriculture
Clear, efficient, pragmatic and uniform legislative and policy framework is needed to revitalize agriculture and improve the country’s economic status. ILA therefore seeks to engage with Government, law- making entities and key stakeholders in this sector through:
- Review of existing Acts of Parliament and review of Bills and Policies
- Capacity building for county governments;
- Vision 2030 and Millennium Development Goals
- The Budget-making process
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