The National Horticulture Taskforce conducted an engagement with Uasin Gishu County’s Departments of Agriculture, Trade, Environment, and Youth, among others, at an Eldoret Hotel to establish a framework for mutual collaboration and boost investment in the sectors.

The intitiative is a significant step towards fostering agricultural collaboration and promotion of investment in the horticulture sector.

County Chief Officer for Agriculture, Mr. Elphas Kesio, led the Department in the discussion on Thursday, emphasizing the vital role of horticulture and underlining the need to involve the youth and women in agriculture, as is in Governor Dr. Bii’s manifesto.

He highlighted the shift from mono-farming to mixed farming as a strategic approach to enhance agricultural sustainability. He also highlighted climate-smart agriculture as a key component of future farming practices.

Mr. Kesio also mentioned that the County is in the final stages of drafting a food safety policy and urged stakeholders to support the aggregation of agricultural produce.

“Horticulture offers significant opportunities, therefore there is need to engage the youth and generate income for farmers to contribute to the country’s economic growth,” said Kesio.

Chair of the taskforce, Clement Tulezi, outlined the advantages of horticulture, citing limited space requirements, high demand, and a shorter production cycle that allows farmers to increase their output effectively.

The meeting also highlighted the need for collaboration in the Business Environment and Export Enhancement Program (BEEF), supported by Trade Catalyst Africa, which will provide grants for initiatives focusing on green economic growth, job creation, enhanced business climate, increased demand for Kenyan exports, and reduced trading times and costs.

This will leverage the use of Eldoret International Airport to facilitate the export of agricultural produce.

The implementation of these initiatives will be carried out through a public-private dialogue platform, facilitating the transition from air to sea freight and improving agro-logistics to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the horticulture sector.

Mr. Isack Lagat, representing County Executive for Trade, stated that Uasin Gishu County is making advancements in establishing the County Aggregation and Industrial Parks (CAIPs) in Moiben.

He affirmed the County’s dedication to creating a favorable atmosphere to attract more investments, enhance agricultural sustainability, and drive economic growth in the county.

Directors Reuben Seroney, Isack Lagat, Irene Kapting’ei, and Peter Ruto were among those present during the meeting.