Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has embarked on a sensitization program on a new digital platform that will be used by farmers to acquire farm inputs and mechanization services at subsidized costs.
The Kenya Integrated Agriculture Management Information System (KIAMIS) is a farmer data and digitalization platform to support the Government’s Agricultural Transformation.
Speaking in Eldoret during a sensitization workshop, FAO Representative to Kenya Ms Carla Mucavi noted that data and digitization of service delivery are critical enablers of the transformation of food systems for the realization of food and nutrition security.
“FAO through its Land Governance Program has supported the government in the digitization of land records, and we are doing the same with the KIAMIS,” she said
According to Mucavi, North Rift Region remains the source of food and nutrition, hence its identification to pilot the KIAMIS.
She noted that, FAO has provided capacity-building training to agricultural and ICT officers from State Departments in the ministry of agriculture, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), and those from Uasin Gishu and Nyandarua counties on the system.
According to the coordinator, National Value Chain Support Programme Joseph Komo, KIAMIS once handed over to the government will enable the registration of farmers into a comprehensive central farmer registry, and be very effective in rolling out subsidy programs.
Currently, the government has rolled out an e-voucher subsidy programme through the National Value Chain Support Programme for maize, rice, Irish potato and coffee farmers in 12 counties.
Through the programme farmers are able to get farm inputs at 60 percent of the cost while the government pays 40 percent for them.
Currently, 6,653 farmers in Uasin Gishu county have been registered under the E-Voucher subsidy programme.
Patricia Kering, who was the first farmer to redeem her E-Voucher in Turbo sub-county, says that the program has been beneficial to farmers.
“This is a smooth process. I first had doubts when I received the message that I had been given an e voucher for maize inputs. However, I would also like the redeeming time to be extended so that all farmers can benefit and wish the coordinators to consider farmers who use planters when distributing seeds” said Kering.
Uasin Gishu County Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno said that the KIAMIS system will help the government distinguish between real farmers and ghost farmers.
“This system will assist in government interventions in agriculture. The E-Voucher system will help farmers to purchase farm inputs after selling their produce, making farming a manageable venture. This system targets all farmers,” he said.
KIAMIS has harmonized the farmer registration tool to enable it to capture data on crops, livestock and aquaculture, making it easy to use across the main sub-sectors of agriculture in Kenya.