Migori county governor Ochilo Ayacko has pleaded with the National government to bestow total control of agriculture to the county level.

While speaking during the flagging of agricultural seeds to farmers in Migori county, the governor said that the move will reduce bureaucracy in the sector.

The governor noted that agriculture is a practical sector which needs close supervision and that the county governments are better placed for the task.

“Since agriculture is a practical activity which needs close invigilation, I believe that the county governments are better placed to take the task compared to the national government,” he said.

He also said that the move, if actualized would make them have clear records in case of distribution inputs which most often has been done without a clear record.

He said that lack of clear records leads to double tasks and ghost farmers who later sell the inputs to farmers at exorbitant prices.

“We have seen some farmers who take as twice as what they are supposed to get and later sell the vulnerable famers at manipulative prices,” he said.

He however said that the national government should only be left with the formulation of policies and research in agriculture.

Reduced work redundancy

This, he noted that will help both levels of the government to know the clear boundary of their operations to help farmers know where to channel their complaints.

He said that while policy formulation can be done at boardroom meetings, the exact practice is done on the field which needs someone close to the people.

“The only thing which should remain with the national government is policy formulation which can be done in offices while the county government gets fully involved in the real task,” said Ayacko.

Governor Ayacko stressed that a total devolution of agriculture will boost Kenya’s agricultural produce hence reducing the risk if starvation.

Reduced cost of import

The noted that Kenya has been heavily dependant on other countries for animal feed which are mostly made of sunflower.

He said that Migori, for example has invested heavily on sunflower farming and given chance, it can reverse the situation.

“We in Migori, produce sunflower which is not only used to produce animal feed but also edible oil. Giving counties more funds for the same will reduce the funds used to import animal feed,” he said.

He also referred to Lower Kuja which has 19,000 acres of arable land supporting rice production.

He said that it is important for the national government to consider the proposal which will help the country reduce funds used to import rice.

“The 19,000 acres of arable lower kuja has ability to produce rice that when added with those from other counties, will greatly reduce cost of import,’ he said.

Ochilo said that the 50% of the rice used in Kenya which is imported will reduce when the country will totally devolve agriculture.

Boosting farmers’ confidence

While flagging off seeds to 16,470 farmers in the county, governor Ayacko said that the move will promote food security and potential agribusiness.

He warned the farmers that will receive the 53,000 KGS of assorted seeds to carefully use proper inputs for maximum harvest.

Quality inputs, quality returns

The governor also expressed his hopes for bountiful returns saying that the county enjoys fertile lands, good weather and climate.

He said that Migori, is now among the top 8 counties with highest agricultural products.

He also urged Members if the National Assembly and the Senate to push for the total transfer of agriculture to county level in order to ensure that farmers benefit maximumly.