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FAO seeks to develop Africa’s guide-
line on public, private partnership

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is developing an Africa’s guideline in the agriculture sector to bridge the gap between the public and private sector.

Stephanie Gallatova, FAO Agribusiness Officer, said Public, Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives have the potential to help transform the production-oriented agricultural sector of African countries towards a more market-oriented, modernized agri-food sector.

“The guideline will help trigger finance from the private sector to finance country’s agricultural investment plans,” Gallatova said during an agribusiness workshop that is being attended by eight African countries in Nairobi.

“The initiative is capable of availing improved farmer-market linkages and employment creation in rural areas and cities,” she added.

Gallatova said that the guideline will also create better understanding between the government and the private sector as they aspire to partner in a number of development projects.

She advised countries to engage in projects that are easier since some projects are difficult to sustain because they are perishable.

The official observed that the continent has the potential of unlocking the perennial food insecurity through the incorporation of the private sector through the introduction of mechanization.

“With over 300 million hectares of arable land, agricultural activities are capable of providing food and revenue for the rural and commercial farmers,” he added.

Gallatova urged African countries to choose their commodities of engagement well and emulate Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire that enjoys their partnership in the sugarcane and cocoa projects respectively.

Janet Edeme, African Union Commission (AUC) Head of Division, Rural Economy, said the guideline will help all African countries to develop their PPP for five priority agricultural commodities by 2025.

“The priority agricultural commodities are aimed at reducing post harvest losses by 50 percent and also ending hunger by 2025,” she added.

The meeting brought together agribusiness experts from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia and South Africa.


Kenya to spend U.S. 30 million dollars  to re-
vitalize scientific research and innovations

NAIROBI  (Xinhua) -- Kenya said on Tuesday that it has set aside 30 million U.S. dollars in the next financial year to support cutting-edge research and innovations, officials said on Tuesday.

Cabinet Secretary for Education Amina Mohamed said the new funding will stimulate research and innovations in agriculture, health, manufacturing, housing and environmental conservation.

“We have taken steps to strengthen research and development which comprise the bedrock of innovation. The new funding will therefore promote research in areas that have greatest impact to the economy and people’s livelihoods,” Mohamed said.

She spoke in Nairobi during the ongoing seventh edition of National Science Week whose theme is harnessing research, science, technology and innovations to achieve President Uhuru Kenyatta’s big four agenda on food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and universal health care.

Mohamed said the government will soon earmark 2 percent of its GDP to support research and innovations in line with a target set out by other African Union member states.

She noted that Kenya has domesticated global best practices to become a regional hub in scientific discoveries and innovations whose ripple effects are being felt across strategic sectors of the economy.

“The government has taken measures to create the necessary ecosystem, infrastructure and policy environment to support innovation, science and technology,” said Mohamed.

She added that Kenya’s quest to become a manufacturing hub hinges on harnessing innovations that are being pioneered by the country’s youth.

Kenya has explored innovative partnerships to promote research funding in diverse areas like advanced manufacturing, agro-processing, renewable energy and healthcare delivery.

Japhet Ntiba, the Principal Secretary in the state department of university and research, said that enactment of friendly policies coupled with investments from the public and private sectors have unleashed cutting-edge innovations to solve societal challenges.

“The government will continue to engage all stakeholders to harness the country’s innovation potential for the realization of vision 2030 goals,” said Ntiba.

Jemimah Onsare, the Acting CEO of National Research Fund (NRF), said that increased budgetary allocation towards research and innovations will incentivize young Kenyans to provide solution to poverty and unemployment.



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