In the vibrant coastal region of Kenya, where agriculture plays a pivotal role in the lives of many, a glaring issue has been overshadowing the promise of bountiful harvests and food security. The lack of land ownership documents, particularly title deeds, has emerged as a persistent challenge, affecting not only the farmers but also the broader issue of food security in the region.
Mombasa ACK Bishop Alphonce Baya, a prominent figure in the coastal community, has raised his voice to highlight this critical problem. Despite the government’s ongoing efforts to address land ownership issues, significant hurdles remain. Bishop Baya expressed his concerns, emphasizing the fundamental importance of land ownership in achieving true independence and prosperity.
The bishop’s remarks came during the Harvest Festival service at the Mombasa ACK Cathedral on a recent Sunday, a time when the community gathers to celebrate the blessings of the land. Officials from the Mombasa International Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) show were present, seeking divine favor for their agricultural endeavors.
Bishop Baya urged the government to expedite the titling process, particularly in the coastal counties, where land disputes and ownership challenges persist. He emphasized that these issues have allowed middlemen to exploit vulnerable farmers, taking advantage of droughts, poverty, and land disputes to further oppress the struggling agricultural community.
The cleric also encouraged local farmers to adopt smart farming practices as a means to overcome the challenges posed by land disputes and ownership issues. Smart farming methods can empower farmers to maximize their agricultural output despite the existing challenges.
Mombasa ASK Show Chairperson, Anisa Abdalla, provided insight into the upcoming agricultural event, stating that preparations for this year’s show are well underway. The theme, “Promoting Climate Smart Agriculture and Trade Initiative for Sustainable Economic Growth,” aligns with the government’s vision to develop farming and trade in the region.
Abdalla highlighted the substantial interest from schools, with a record 1,200 schools confirming their participation in this year’s show. The Competency-Based Curriculum, which emphasizes practical experience, has contributed to the increased school involvement. The event offers students valuable opportunities to gain hands-on knowledge in areas such as smart farming, agribusiness, and climate-smart technologies.
Mombasa County Commissioner Abdirazak Jaldesa assured visitors of enhanced security measures for the event, including uniformed police officers, plainclothes officers, private security guards, and CCTV surveillance.
Bandari Sacco CEO Joseph Bii urged the coastal community to attend the show in large numbers. The Sacco provides financial solutions tailored for agriculture, including business loans with flexible terms to accommodate the unpredictability of rain patterns in farming.
Kenya Medical Research Institute Acting Deputy Director in charge of Corporate Communications, James Wodera, announced a show to address health challenges faced by the public. By creating a connection between agriculture, health, and technology, this initiative aims to empower the public to better manage their environments and prevent easily avoidable diseases.
The Mombasa International Show will feature exhibitors from various industries, including manufacturing, tourism-related enterprises, the fishing industry, banking, import and export, transport, and communication. The focus will be on climate-smart agriculture and the promotion of best farming practices for crop, tree, and livestock production and marketing.
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