The European Union through the Food and Agricultural Organization [FAO] has started a program of funding pastoral marginalized counties of West Pokot and Turkana through the Geographical Information System[GIS] laboratory program to help in planning on development and data collection in the land sector.
The Kshs 20 million program which will be implemented by FAO aims at developing marginalized Counties, identify fertile areas for food production and insecure areas.
Under the land governance program the labs will facilitate the Counties on tenure mapping, crop mapping, yield estimation, crop irrigation, disease surveillance, early warning system, predictive mapping, irrigation, landscape mapping, suitability assessment of value chains, revenue management, change detection studies and monitoring of crops and natural resources, land degradation assessment, agricultural census, precision farming and satellite agriculture.
The partnership and support from the program is through GIS technical training of County staff as well as hardware through the establishment and equipping of the laboratories
Speaking during the launch of the digital laboratory centre in Kapenguria, FAO Country Representative Gabriel Rugalema said the system will help the Counties in monitoring human activities at border points and planning on development.
Rugalima said the program will deal with mapping of communal land to make sure that communities benefit from the lands they have used for the generation, digitize land information from the old format. He said they will build local capacity to help the people understand the information to explain to them and support them .
European Union country Representative David Mwangi said the center will help residents get information on development. Mwangi called on the two Counties to use the program to get information on development issues.
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo said the program will help save County funds and map where minerals are in the area. “We are moving from group ranches to communal land,” he said. Lonyangapuo said that area members of County Assembly and County Executive members will learn how to use the lab.