Understanding the Influence and Effects of Devolution on Agricultural Development: A Case Study of Garissa County, Kenya
The Agriculture sector in Kenya is as important as the country. Much of the agricultural function was transferred to the devolved units when the new constitution was passed by Kenyans and promulgated. The question many are asking is, have county governments initiated strategies in place to improve food security and ultimately contribute to the economy.
Agriculture is the major contributor of our economy today. Kenya needs to be a self-sufficient country and feed its people. County governments have a huge role in ensuring this objective achieved. Based on this, a research title is proposed “Understanding the influence and effects of devolution on agricultural development: A case study of Garissa county, Kenya” The research seeks to clarify to the public and the other stakeholders concerned if actually devolved units have done anything to improve the agricultural sector since its inception. Have county governments put clear, achievable and practical strategies for this sector to grow and how best can counties improve this important sector. The research findings will be very helpful to those who are involve in the agricultural sector, directly or indirectly.
The research objectives are; to compare performance of agriculture before and after devolution, to evaluate the achievements of devolution in the agricultural sector, to analyse the challenges faced by county governments in developing this sector, to examine the perception of the public on the best strategies to improve agriculture in Kenya and to give synthesised recommendations to all stakeholders.
The research was conducted within Garissa County, four out of the six sub counties. A total of 310 respondents were engaged ranging from farmers, the general public and the staff of the county government
The research found out that there is a gap in the sector that needs attention. Agricultural production, although remained steadfast over the years, has been in deplorable situation. The research findings is helpful to all stakeholders-both levels of governments, farmers, the public and non-state actors. The research commends that the County governments should use bottom-up approach strategy when making critical decision affecting the department. This will aid them obtain raw and unbiased information for action. The department of agriculture experts should be deployed to all sub counties (at the grassroots). 95 percent of these staff stay at county headquarters doing nothing. Their presence at the villages, farms will come in handy or the farmers. People with experience and experts should be employed to spearhead this exercise. Routine visits should be made to the farming areas.
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