Kenya on Monday launched a digital platform to facilitate the registration of farmers, establish a database and enhance the identification of electronic voucher subsidy beneficiaries.
Mithika Linturi, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, said the Kenya Integrated Agriculture Management Information System (KIAMIS) platform can leverage information to provide e-extension, credit management, and mechanization.
“KIAMIS is basically a digital platform with various components that enable us to organize and put our data together, then use the data to implement various farmer support services,” Linturi said during the launch in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.
Linturi noted that the strategy emphasizes the use of data and digital innovations as the main enablers for the envisaged agricultural transformation in Kenya.
He said at the heart of KIAMIS is the registration of farmers and the establishment of a national central farmers’ database to help understand their needs and come up with realistic and sustainable support interventions.
Linturi added that the registration system has been tested, and used to register farmers and give the fertilizer subsidy on a pilot basis.
He observed that the results of the pilot indicate that KIAMIS is capable of helping the government implement a sustainable electronic subsidy program, and address hiccups like poor traceability, general inefficiencies, and lack of transparency and accountability.
Linturi said Kenya plans to establish sustainable systems for increasing agricultural productivity, food and nutritional security, and low cost of basic food items.
He added that after completing the registration of all farmers, the country will embark on elaborate national fertilizer, seeds, lime, animal and chicken feeds, crops, and livestock insurance subsidy programs that will cover all counties and use digital systems to ensure efficiency.
Carla Mucavi, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations representative in Kenya, said the digital platform will contribute toward subsidizing farming production costs and boosting food supplies.
Mucavi noted that agriculture is heavily affected by climate change hence the need for the adoption of digital platforms to enable farmers to obtain subsidies.