Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative Development is expected to steer the County towards an innovative and commercially-oriented agriculture and food secure economy. Though highly populated, Vihiga County has enormous resource endowment ranging from high precipitation, arable land, good road network and close proximity to both local and external markets. These tangible factors give the county the impetus to pull itself together and saddle itself on the development lane with minimal delay.
Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries & Cooperatives
Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives
Role of the Department in the County’s Development Agenda
As earlier mentioned, Vihiga County economy is predominantly agriculture with approximately 85 % of the population living in the county having their livelihood mainly from agricultural activities. Of the 65% of the population estimated to be living below the absolute poverty line, subsistence farmers account for 90%. The County government in its CIDP plans to promote growth in the education ,industrial, I.C.T and infrastructure as well as the agricultural sector towards increasing food security, income generation and employment creation within the ASDP and Vision 2030 framework. Co-operatives will be vital to the attainment of the broad objectives of the agriculture sector in the county, since they can make considerable contribution as a whole to food security by supplying inputs as well as marketing agricultural output. The policy objective of the co-operatives sub-sector will aim to revitalize the co-operative movement in the county which will in turn spur sustainable economic growth and development.
Mandate of the Department
The Kenya Constitution 2010 devolved the following functions and powers to the counties in the Agriculture sector; crop and animal husbandry, livestock sale yards, county abattoirs, plant and disease control and fisheries. Vihiga Department of Agriculture is comprised of 5 sub-sectors namely, Livestock production, Veterinary services, Crop Production, Fisheries and Cooperative. The following are the key roles/mandate of the Department;
- Support the formulation and review of enabling institutions, legal and regulatory framework for the revitalization of agriculture sector in the County, and effective and efficient service delivery.
- Build capacity of farmers through extension services and animal welfare in order to improve agricultural productivity in the county.
- In collaboration with the National Government and other stakeholders, coordinate the construction of modern abattoirs, fresh produce markets, greenhouses, fish hatcheries and cold storage plants for fish, and coolers for milk.
- Establish and coordinate agriculture support programmes, e.g. subsidized farm inputs, enhanced credit to farmers and free tea seedlings to support the poor farmers.
- Improve market access for smallholders through better supply chain management.
- Promote value addition to farm/livestock/fisheries products before they reach local, regional and international markets.