Lodwar, 17th September— The Turkana County Agriculture Sector Steering Committee ( CASSCOM)whose main objective is to facilitate coordination, cooperation and consultation of stakeholders and partners in the agriculture sector to ensure economic development and food security has been inaugurated today in Lodwar
The committee which will be chaired by Agriculture,Pastoral Economy and Fisheries County Executive has been tasked to transform crop,livestock and fisheries production into commercial oriented enterprises to ensure sustainable food and nutrition security through selected value chains projects in Turkana.
The committee secretariat will draw members from County departments of Agriculture, Livestock, Veterinary Services, Cooperative, Trade, Fisheries, Water and Irrigation among others.
In his address, CEC Aemun said that agriculture was a critical component in social-economic development in Arid and Semi-Arid areas noting that establishment of producer cooperatives and improvement of abattoirs in Turkana was meant to add value additions to livestock and crops farmers products.
He acknowledged the role played by development partners in achievement of the food security agenda and emphasized on the need by officers from the National and County Goverments to collaborate and work together for successful of implementation of the Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme II (ASDSP) projects that is being jointly funded by Swedish Government,National and County Governments.
To strengthen food production systems,CEC Aemun stated that engagements on Public-Private partnerships with private sectors and other interested investors would unlock the untapped potentials on host of value chains and also contribute towards commercialization of agriculture through pooling of resources.
County Chief Officer for Agriculture and Land Reclamation Dr. Jacob Lolelea said that formation of the committee was an “eye opener” on food security perspective as they will champion implementation and review of the programs while his Livestock Production and Fisheries counterpart Abdullahi Yussuf called for teamwork from the committee for effective coordination.
County Agriculture Director Paul Lokone who is a member of Joint Agriculture Sector Consultation and Cooperation Mechanism(JASSCOM) said that research,extension and capacity building aspects in the agricultural sector was key towards commercialization of agriculture and livestock in Turkana.
ASDSP II County Coordinator Boniface Okita said that CASSCOM was formed to strengthen collaboration and linkages in the Public-Private partnerships in the management and delivery of agricultural sector services at the County level.
Kerio Division Assistant County Commissioner who represented the County Commissioner’s office assured of the National Government support towards successful implementation of the ASDSP II project.
Also present were FAO head of Lodwar Field Office Dan Irura and Mr.Benson Ebei from the National Council of People with Disabilities.