Kenya’s ICT Cabinet Secretary: Data is ‘key’ to smart farming

Addressing hundreds of participants at the 2018 Global CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture Convention in Nairobi, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communications said that in order to mitigate climate change, which is a key barrier to resilient food production, data must be harnessed and applied to ensure that food crops are available and affordable.

He noted that experts have estimated by the year 2020 nine out of the ten major world crops will experience a reduction or stagnant growth rates while average prices will increase dramatically as a result of climate change.

Enumerating lessons that Kenya has learned in building the data ecosystem for resilient food systems, Mucheru said that there are four “enablers” that must act together to ensure successful data harnessing. They include political support, open data legislation, data infrastructure and demand for data by all stakeholders including farmers, academics, government, NGOs.