Kenya signs an agreement with Germany over Adaptation to Climate Change and Insurance
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Romano Kiome, and the Programme Manager with German International Cooperation (GIZ) Mr. Reimund Hoffmann signed an agreement which provides for funding of Climate Change and Insurance by the German Federal Ministry to the tune of 2,250,000 Euros. The Kenya government will provide counterpart funding of shs 21 million at Kilimo House.
Dr. Kiome said during the signing ceremony that the adaptation to Climate Change and Insurance Project is a bilateral project between the Kenyan and German Government
He announced that the ministry of agriculture has already set up a Climate Change Unit to monitor and mitigate against the effects of climate change. He further announced that the five EAC member states Council of Ministers have already taken the lead by advising their member countries to set up climate change monitoring units for purposes of addressing the vagaries of harsh weather,” said Dr. Kiome. He added that East African Community member countries recently agreed in a council of Ministers conference in Arusha that the member countries will negotiate as a bloc on all international protocols on climate change.
Dr. Kiome said the project supports agricultural advisory services through the development of appropriate advisory packages for climate risk management that will minimise vulnerability, stabilize and improve yields in agriculture particularly for smallholders. He observed that not all aspects of climate change have a negative effect and said we should explore positive aspects of climate change such as good agricultural practices particularly seed selection.
The Permanent Secretary commended the Germany Government for financing the first ever programme in the country. Mr. Hoffmann said the overall goal of the project is to enable small-scale enterprises, cooperatives, water user groups as well as processing and marketing enterprises to increase their capacity to adapt to climate change by making use of climate risk management measures.
He added that, the project will be piloted in Homa Bay and Busia counties before up-scaling best practices to other regions. Addressing the media regarding the government declaring drought a national disaster Dr.Kiome said that the government carried out a highly constructive process assessment through various ministries before declaring it a National disaster.
He said that the Ministry of Finance has put up mechanisms to increase foodstuff supply by applying for an emergency relief tax free on maize imports in order to save the situation, adding that wheat and rice will also be imported to supplement the maize.
Dr. Kiome said that irrigation projects have contributed a lot towards food security. He added that the projects produced 290,000 bags of maize during the last harvesting season.
He however noted that drought has not affected the whole country but only some parts which include; the North Eastern province, the upper Eastern Province and the Northern side of Cost Province.
Dr. Kiome confirmed that the total number of maize as at 31st of April 2011 stood at 16.9 million bags with the NCPB, farmers and traders. He urged farmers hoarding maize to sell it to the NCPB Depots adding that the government has plans to increase the price of a 90kg bag of maize from Ksh.1, 800.
The ceremony was also attended by Directors, Ms Ann Onyango, Dr. Johnson Irungu, Eng. Jasper Nkanya, Deputy Director in charge of Agri-business Mr. Zakayo Magara, GIZ Programme coordinator, Francis Muthami, GIZ project coordinator Petra Jacobi and Climate Change Coordinator in the Ministry MS Anne Sirengo among others.