Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii on Tuesday hosted Netherlands Deputy Ambassador to Kenya H.E Joris Van Bommel and the Warehouse Receipting System(WRS) Council to discuss solutions to perennial challenges facing the agricultural sector in the region.
Governor Bii said that the program comes at the right time to allow women and youth who have no access to title deeds to access loans secured by their commodities deposited in warehouses and also enable them to manage the timing of the sale of their cereals and produce.
According to the Governor, WRS is a solution to the long-standing storage challenges faced by farmers and aggregators of farm produce across the country. It benefits farmers by reducing post-harvest losses, improving market linkages and increasing access to credit as well as creating an enabling environment for producers and traders to make and execute commercial decisions.
Governor Bii, while appreciating the support from the Dutch Government, acknowledged the support extended to potato farmers in Ainabkoi Sub-County.
On his part, Netherlands Deputy Ambassador to Kenya H.E Joris Van Bommel appreciated the strong relationship between Kenya and Netherlands saying that the relationship has grown from development and matured to an economic relationship.
In strengthening the relationship, the Ambassador said that his country will work with the County and other stakeholders in addressing food security and other challenges that are affecting farmers such as post-harvest losses.
He assured the County that the Netherlands will provide technical assistance to farmers, provide access to credit and promote value addition in a bid to strengthen the agricultural value chain.
According to Uasin Gishu Deputy Governor Eng. John Barorot, lack of unreliable crop storage system has led to Kenya’s agriculture sector lacking behind despite being the majority creator of jobs in the economy.
Eng. Barorot said that post-harvest losses are pressing the smallholder farmers to dispose of their produce quickly after harvest making it difficult for farmers to access formal credit in the county.
CECM for Trade Eng. Martha Jeruto said that the initiative would in turn make the Agriculture sector more lucrative, thus promoting the country’s food security as outlined in Governor’s Bii Nguzo Kumi, a sentiment echoed by his Counterpart for Agriculture Mr. Edward Sawe.
Sawe disclosed that Mois Bridge NCPB stores, Soy Mateeny and Moisoy are among the selected stores for the warehouse receipt systems initiative.
The delegation led by the governor also toured Soy Mateeny Farmers Coop Society store, the upcoming Moisoy maize milling plant and the Moisbridge NCPB store to check on the readiness of the warehouse receipt system.