Cornelly Serem, Seth Panyako among new appointees to key government positions

Cornelly Serem and Seth Panyako are among the latest appointees to key government positions, according to gazette notices issued on March 24, 2023.

President William Ruto has appointed Serem, a former member of the National Assembly for Aldai Constituency, as the new Chairperson of the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) for a five-year term.

Meanwhile, Njuguna Ndung’u, Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Economic Planning, has appointed Panyako, a trade unionist and former secretary-general of the Kenya National Union of Nurses, to the Local Authorities Provident Fund Board for a three-year term. Panyako was named alongside Roba Duba.

The Local Authorities Provident Fund Board (LAPFUND) is in charge of managing the pensions and other benefits of Kenyan local government employees.

Serem’s appointment comes at a pivotal moment for Kenya’s agricultural sector, which has been plagued by pests and diseases, climate change, and market disruptions.

Serem will be in charge of overseeing the regulation and promotion of agriculture and food production, as well as ensuring food safety and quality and advising the government on policies and strategies to increase agricultural productivity and competitiveness.

The AFA is a state corporation in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives that was established in 2014 by merging former regulatory institutions in the sector. The authority regulates various scheduled crops such as coffee, tea, sugar, nuts, oil crops, fibre crops, food crops, horticultural crops, pyrethrum and miraa.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Mithika Linturi, appointed nine members to the Board of Directors of AFA for a five-year term. They are Daniel Sila Kitivo, Lucy Njine Maina, Jairus Onchiri Ombui, Peterson K. Muthathai, Wachira Kaguongo, Samwel Onyango Ong’ow, Rosebella Jepchirchir Langat, Christopher Kinoti Nkangi. They will work alongside Serem to oversee the authority’s operations.

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