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Kenya to focus on China to accelerate agricultural transformation

16 September 2015, 21:45

Nairobi - Kenya will strengthen agricultural cooperation with China in order to transform the sector through technology adoption, value addition and irrigation, a government official said on Wednesday.

Sicily Kariuki, the Principal Secretary in the State Department of Agriculture, said Kenya will strengthen agricultural cooperation with Beijing in strategic areas like research, investments in irrigation alongside post harvest storage infrastructure.

"The agriculture sector is key to the realization of economic growth in the country. We have identified key areas of cooperation with China to improve productivity," Kariuki told Xinhua in exclusive interview in Nairobi ahead of a week-long visit to China for training program sponsored by China's Ministry of Commerce.

Kariuki will be among a delegation of senior Kenyan officials who will participate in the training that seeks to enrich their knowledge of China's socio-economic and technological transformation.

Besides the training, Kenyan officials will engage with Chinese counterparts and investors to explore new areas of cooperation.

Also read: IEBC boss assures of open and fair election in 2017

"The training will provide lessons on cutting edge research and technology in China that can be domesticated to improve agricultural productivity locally. During the tour in China, I will have an opportunity to promote Kenyan coffee, tea and horticultural products," Kariuki told Xinhua.

Sino-Kenya agricultural cooperation was elevated to new levels in May 2014 when the then agriculture minister Felix Koskei signed a new cooperation agreement with his Chinese counterpart.

Kariuki said the cooperation agreement focuses on technology and skills exchange to promote irrigation, fisheries alongside crops and livestock development.

"Advanced technology from China will be critical to accelerate agriculture sector transformation. Our cooperation with China has also focused on exchange of technology, visits, exhibitions to promote trade and investments in agriculture," Kariuki said.

During her weeklong visit to China, the principal secretary will highlight the enormous investment opportunities in Kenya's agriculture sector.

"We intend to tap into private investments from China to develop irrigation infrastructure and storage facilities for commodities. We require more investments in production of rice and wheat to help offset current deficit," said Kariuki.

She added that Kenya will cooperate with China to promote agro-processing.


- Xinhua


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