The Agriculture Sector Network (ASNET) officially unveiled a three-year Strategic Plan on 11th December 2020 at Crown Plaza hotel in Nairobi. The launch brought together Government officials, development partners, businesses, and associations who expressed optimism on the ability of ASNET to deliver sector-wide transformation using the Strategic Plan as the driver of change.
The heterogeneity of participants during the event reflected the zeal of different sector practitioners to catalyze sector-wide transformation. The event was graced by various senior government officials including, Dr.Kevit Desai – Principal Secretary in the State Department of East African Community (EAC), Prof. Micheni Ntiba – Principal Secretary in the State Department for Fisheries, Aquaculture and the Blue Economy, and PS Harry Kimtai – Principal Secretary in the State Department of Livestock. KEPSA was represented by the KEPSA Foundation Chair Arch. Lee Karuri, KEPSA Trustee Mr. Bill Lay, KEPSA Deputy CEO Ms. Martha Cheruto among others. The event was officiated by Ms. Jane Ngige together with Ms. Cheruto and Mr. Patrick Maingi. Also present at the event included KAM Vice-Chair Mr. Rajan Shah and development partner representatives from FAO, GIZ, RTI, USAID, and Elgon Kenya, which sponsored the event.
Speaking during the event, KEPSA’s Deputy CEO lauded ASNET for the expeditious development of the Strategic Plan and maintaining the momentum of implementing the ASNET Rapid Results Initiatives (RRI) ever since its launch on 26th February 2020. She further affirmed KEPSA’s willingness to support ASNET in its nascent stage until it is fully established with requisite structures.
ASNET Chair, Dr. Bimal Kantaria expressed optimism in the capacity of ASNET as the driver of change that will actualize the much-lauded Agriculture Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy. Noting that Kenya’s Agriculture Sector Strategy is private sector-led, he stated that the launch of ASNET provides an entry point for the private sector to jointly plan with the Government on how to fund and implement the 9 flagship projects earmarked for implementation under the ASGTS.
Arch. Karuri in his remarks said that the launch of the ASNET Strategic Plan was indeed timely as the sector was reeling from the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, back-to-back drought, and the ravaging invasion of desert locusts. Being a brainchild of KEPSA, he noted that ASNET will by extension implement the aspirations ingrained in the vision of KEPSA by being the voice of Kenya’s agriculture sector in both policy and practice.
The climax of the event was the unveiling of the Strategic Plan, which was graced by Dr. Harry Kimtai, who lauded KEPSA and other partners for establishing and launching ASNET. He further acknowledged the continued partnership and cooperation between ASNET and the Ministry of Agriculture in discussing and implementing various policy interventions in the sector through structured engagements with the Government. The clarion call from the launch was “leave no one behind”, a progressive spirit that ASNET seeks to adopt as it enhances sector-wide transformation.