A US-based agriculture company, Corteva Agriscience, has launched regional operations in East Africa in Nairobi with a promise to revolutionalise the sector through provision of seed, crop protection and digital solutions to address the recurring problem of food insecurity in the region by investing in the agricultural value supply chain.
Corteva Agriscience, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NSE), said the Nairobi regional hub will serve Eastern Central and Southern Africa (ESCA) countries, comprising of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“We have today rolled out a new brand that will change and completely disrupt the agricultural sector not only in Kenya but in the region,” said Humphrey Kiruaye, Corteva Agriscience Country Lead for Kenya and the Great Lakes Region.
Kiruaye said Corteva, with its global affiliation and its partners, was well positioned to provide sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the small-scale farming sector in Kenya. In doing this, the firm would work closely with Government institutions, research institutions, and the academia to harness expertise that would assist the small-scale farmer maximise on his land in line with the food security pillar in the Big Four Agenda.
Speaking during the launch in Nairobi, which was also attended by the United States Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter, he said that Corteva would principally address the problem of low productivity per unit area facing the grains small scale sector in Kenya, which he said was the lowest in region and in Sub Sahara Africa.
Kiruaye said Kenya’s small-scale farmers produced an average of 1.5 metric tonnes per hectare compared to Ethiopia with 5 metric tonnes and Zambia with 4 metric tonnes respectively.
Corteva, he noted, would also deploy the latest technology in farming and leverage on extension services and digital platforms to disseminate information to farmers throughout the country in order to reduce the post -harvest losses in Kenya which currently stood at over 40%.
Joseph Anampiu, Commercial Leader, ESCA Africa, said that Corteva would provide a holistic approach in providing solutions to the challenges facing farmers in the country to enable them produce more per unit area. He said the company plans to grow its footprint in Africa to assist farmers maximise on their farms.
Agricultural Research Principal Secretary Prof Hamadi Boga said the biggest challenge facing the agricultural sector in the country was the non- implementation of very good policies and strategies developed by experts over the years.
Use of outdated production methods
As a result, Boga said, farmers continue to use old and outdated production methods which in turn lead to low productivity and the cyclic nature of food insecurity in the country. He added that if this trend continued, the country will not be able to feed itself by 2025 and will be importing over 50 per cent of all its food.
Prof Boga challenged agricultural scientists and researchers to continue lobbying the government to increase funding to agriculture and also implement the policies that would address the problem of food insecurity once and for all.
Corteva was born out of the merger between International chemical manufacturer Dow Chemical Company and DuPont to form DowDuPont which created three separate publicly traded companies in agriculture, materials science and specialty products sectors that will lead their respective industries through productive, science-based innovation to meet the needs of customers and help solve global challenges.
In Africa and Middle East, Corteva Agriscience™ brings together DuPont Crop Protection, DuPont Pioneer, PANNAR and Dow AgroSciences to create a market shaping, standalone agriculture company with leading positions in seed technologies, crop protection and digital agriculture.