CountrySTAT Kenya was launched on 26th November 2009 in Nairobi. Implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture together with the key institutions such as the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Livestock Development, the Ministry of Fisheries and the Ministry of Trade, the Web-based information system CountrySTAT Kenya will allow experts and policy-makers an improved access to quality statistics on food and agriculture.
The event gains even more importance since Kenya represents the first English-speaking country among 17 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to launch CountrySTAT.
Participating prominences from the national political scene gathering at the Panari Hotel of Nairobi included the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Romano Kiome, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Livestock Development, Kenneth Lusaka, FAO Representative in Kenya, Castro Camarada, the Agriculture Secretary, Dr. Wilson Songa, and the Representative of Director-General of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, James Katungu. The launch of CountrySTAT also brought together experts from several fora including academia and research.
The National Coordinator for CountrySTAT Kenya, Abner Ingosi, provided an overview of CountrySTAT to the audience also involving a number of media TV and radio broadcastings organizations such as Kenya Broadcasting TV (KBC), Capital FM, Citizen TV, Biblia H.B. The grant to FAO for its CountrySTAT programme provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Foundation's Agricultural Development initiative. The latter works with a wide range of partners to provide millions of small farmers in the developing world with tools and opportunities to boost production yields, increase incomes, and help farmers build better lives for themselves and their families.
CountrySTAT Kenya integrates national and subnational data and metadata on food and agriculture within the country and with other countries through the implementation of a standardized and harmonized time series, data exchange platform, and a harmonized set of analysis tools. In so doing, it will facilitate planning and decision-making by policy-makers and analysts in the fight against hunger and poverty.
In a population of 34.7 million people in which the share of children underweight has reached 20 percent, the launch of ContrySTAT marks an important step in the fight against the incidence of hunger and poverty which have led to this, while providing a critical tool in the hands of experts and policy-makers in a joint effort to achieve sustainable food security in Kenya.