KENYA – The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) in Kenya has announced its search for a new Director General (DG) through a notice in local newspapers, inviting eligible candidates to submit their applications.

The position requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in agricultural fields and a minimum of 15 years of work experience, among other qualifications.

The AFA, established in 2013 as a state corporation, plays a crucial role in regulating the crop sector in Kenya to ensure compliance with regulatory frameworks, standards, and codes of practice.

The Director General serves as the day-to-day manager of the Authority, acting as the accounting officer, secretary to the board, and being answerable to the board.

Willis Audi currently holds the position of Acting DG, following the departure of Beatrice Nyamwamu in May.

Since 1993, he has worked for the Ministry of Agriculture in a variety of capacities in the Rift Valley and Central Kenya regions, as well as in Kilimo House’s Extension Services and Food Security Unit.

In 2014, he was transferred to the former Kenya Coconut Development Authority (predecessor to the Nuts and Oil Crops Directorate). Additionally, from April 2014 to April 2018, he served as a Senior Horticultural Officer at the Horticultural Crops Directorate.

The board, chaired by Cornelly Serem, is now seeking a suitable candidate to replace Audi. Nyamwamu, an agricultural resource and policy expert, was one of the few women serving in a Chief Executive role at state corporations in Kenya.

The AFA, established through the merger of several crop boards, had operated without a board until this year when Cornelly Serem was appointed as the chair.

Over the years, the Authority has worked to enforce rules for the production, storage, transportation, and packaging of produce to reduce post-harvest losses and ensure compliance with export market standards.

The recruitment comes amid efforts by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi to revamp the AFA, reports The Star. The appointment of a substantive Director General is seen as part of these plans to reposition the agency as a significant player in ensuring the country’s food security.

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