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
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.
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"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
"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
"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