On 9th June, 2021, Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Rachel Shebesh attended the Agro Processors, Food Marketers and Women Training of Trainers.
The workshop was organized by Kenya Private Sector Alliance to provide a good avenue for women to network with their colleagues undertaking a common agenda in agriculture value chain.
Hon. Shebesh noted that Agriculture is the main economic activity employing the highest number of Kenyans with women providing 60% of labour in agricultural production, mainly at the bottom of the production chain.
She also noted that women own less than 10% of land, which denies them access to essential means of production.
“Women labour in agricultural production is poorly rewarded since they are mostly engaged in menial activities which are not economically valued. I recognize the effort made by KEPSA to provide forums for women in business to participate in agriculture value addition process to mitigate the challenges women encounter in the Agriculture sector,” she said.
The Government has made considerable steps to support women in Agro Business through:
1. Enacting legislations and policy framework to promote women inclusion in social economic development. 2. Through the Ministry of Public Service and Gender, establishing programs to enhance women participation in social economic development. 3. Through Access to Government Procurement Opportunity (AGPO), reserving 30% of all government tenders for women, youth and persons living with disabilities. 4. Signing several international and regional treaties to open market opportunities for Kenyan product, among them the African Continent Free Trade Area Agreement and The EAC common trading regime which provide wide trading space for women in Agro-processing and food marketing for women traders. 5. Committing to support micro and small enterprises involved in manufacturing, and nutrition improvement of the citizens due to their large contribution to the Big Four Agenda. 6. Developing a framework to support private initiatives which contribute to government agenda, among them agro-processing which is among the investment sector which the government is supporting to create employment and reduce poverty targeting vulnerable women.
Hon. Shebesh urged women entrepreneurs in Agro Processing and Food Marketing to be innovative and position themselves strategically to exploit the opportunities provided by the government during the distribution of COVID-19 pandemic economic stimulus funds.
By Jacqueline Kirimi