The County Government of Marsabit is slowly adapting to technological advancement to fight food insecurity in the area.
According to the governor, Ali Mohamud Mohamed, a partnership between the County and private sector has enabled farmers to receive real-time information about disease outbreaks to help them maintain the health of their livestock or adapt to modern farming methods.
The governor said that they have also invested in climate-smart water harvesting and storage, irrigation infrastructure development and efficient water use.
“This entails the incorporation of components that enhance resilience such as drip irrigation of crops, no water-intensive aquaculture, non-wasteful livestock watering, agroforestry for soil water conservation, development of water harvesting and storage structures, development of appropriate irrigation infrastructure and technologies, “he said.
He said that technological advancement has led to increased food security as locals are turning to SMS-based services for technical support that allows them more easily to adopt new crops and growing techniques, with benefits for both natural resources and household income and nutrition.
“Connectivity improves the functioning of markets by allowing farmers and herders to access accurate price information, coordinate transport and other logistics, and facilitate easier exchange of perishable but nutritious foods such as animal products and vegetables, “he said.
He added that Mobile money and price information also enable pastoralists to adjust herd sizes to changing environmental conditions while enabling farmers to secure seeds and fertilizer for future harvests.
The County Government has invested in the development of appropriate low-cost technology, taking into account indigenous knowledge along with crops, livestock, poultry, fisheries and agroforestry value chains in the area, “he said.
The County government has also heavily invested in infrastructure investments, including rural roads, electricity cell phone towers, markets, cold chains, and processing facilities.
According to a 2017 working paper by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security, some of the most promising innovations in rural agriculture are technology- and service-based.
The document states that with access to data, markets, and financial services, farmers can plant, fertilize, harvest, and sell products more effectively.
The Agricultural Sector Development Strategy 2010-2020 sets out a detailed plan to position the agricultural sector as a key driver for delivering the 10 per cent annual economic growth rate envisaged under the economic pillar of Vision 2030.
The document is detailed that science, technology, and innovation play a critical role in producing more food by creating plant varieties with improved traits, as well as optimizing the inputs needed to make agriculture more productive.
The Sustainable Development Goals and other international efforts to achieve food security involve new technologies as an indispensable tool for eradicating hunger.