The County Government and World Food Programme (WFP) have today signed a five-year agreement for the joint implementation of development programmes aimed at achieving food security in Turkana.

The MOU signed by Governor Josphat Nanok and WFP Representative and Country Director Annalisa Conte today morning in Lodwar, will align efforts to transform and influence County Government’s structures and food systems, through joint investment to build resilience for communities, increase market access for farmers, strengthen the County’s preparedness towards dealing with emergencies, implement school-feeding programme and nutrition campaigns for the vulnerable.

Speaking after the signing, the Governor said investment to support food production through flood-based farming for over 10,000 households will contribute to achieving food security which he said was a priority for the County Government, and help to reduce the size of the county’s population that is dependent on relief food.

“This agreement is going to run for the next five years and we will be utilizing resources for the WFP to increase acreage under flood-based farming irrigation. The biggest target for the County Government is to ensure that we drastically reduce the number of food insecure people from the high number of 80 percent to a manageable figure,” he said.

Governor Nanok said the County Government will take lead of the programme and thanked WFP for support for the agreement and past support for emergency intervention, refugee assistance and asset creation. He added that the programme will bring in more partners to invest in better storage for food produced to limit post-harvest losses.

On her part, Ms. Conte said WFP was shifting its form of support for the region from primarily providing relief response to joint investment to develop food security of communities.

“We will continue providing relief whenever needed but we want to change the lives of these people who are regularly affected by food insecurity and under the leadership of the County Government we will work together to support communities have better access to food, diversify livelihoods and developing and integrating the markets,” she said, adding that part of efforts to strengthen market linkages for small holder producers will be to support their financial literacy and access to credit.

CECM for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries Chris Aletia, who will chair the Project Steering Committee which is tasked with overseeing the implementation of the partnership, said the programme will open doors for development that will impact several other sectors apart from agriculture and livestock production. He said the focus for his department in irrigation for crop production was to move beyond conventional techniques by introducing new means such as the flood-based farming system.

Present at the signing was the County Secretary Peter Eripete, Finance and Economic Planning CECM Robert Loteleng’o, Chief Officers Dr. Michael Eregae (Livestock, Fisheries and Veterinary Services) and Joshua Lemuya (Agriculture and Land Reclamation), Chief of Staff Ekuwam Nakiporo and Deputy Director for Resource Mobilization Charles Ekai.