It was a full house at the Manu Chandaria Auditorium, University of Nairobi Towers as Kenyans engaged top ranking government officials and experts in agriculture and water as the country seeks to find solutions to Kenya’s pressing issues of food accessibility, availability and affordability.
Speaking during the program, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi reiterated the role of the University of Nairobi in shaping national discourse over the years. “We partnered with the Nation Media Group to provide collective thinking, solutions to Kenya’s pressing needs, “he said. He observed that the forum will be a catalyst for national reawakening.
Various issues that have bedeviled the country like food availability, financing of farmers, irrigation services like the Galana Irrigation Scheme, the use of Genetically Modified Food, water sources, the northern collector water tunnel among others were discussed during the debate that was transmitted live on NTV and moderated by Linus Kaikai, the Managing Director, NTV.
Dr. Chris Kirubi, Chairman, Capital FM and CEO Brand Kenya praised organizers of the event and encouraged them to host more of such events to discuss issues that affect Kenyans. He also raised pertinent issues like the use of extension officers to help farmers, financing for farmers and the use of quality seeds. “Farming is business. We need to support our farmers to produce more food. We need the banks to support our farmers too. Lastly, we need extension services to help our farmers at the grassroots, ‘he said.
The live debate was attended by two cabinet secretaries, Eugene Wamalwa, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry for Water and Irrigation and Willy Bett, the Cabinet Secretary, for Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries. The two leaders enumerated the various interventions that the government has put in place to address water and food security.