Kenya to more than triple Agric ministry budget
Posted Friday, January 20 2012 at 00:00
Kenya’s agricultural ministry is set to get $691 million for the next financial year beginning July from the current $198 million in order to accelerate the country’s agricultural output, the in ministry permanent secretary had said.
Dr Romano Koome said the huge increase of the sector’s budget will assist the country to set up projects to boost the rural economy. “Most of the budget will used to develop a commercially-oriented and modern agricultural sector which will increase productivity especially in small holdings,” Koome said.
Going into specifics, the PS said irrigation will receive $300 million seed and fertiliser fund will get $173 million, mechanisation project $81 million, while new storage facilities for farm produce has been allocated $58 million.
“We hope that farmers increase the uptake of modern technology in order to reduce the effects of land fragmentation, which is having negative impact on national production,” Kiome said during the public hearings on the medium term expenditure framework for 2012/13 to 2014/15.
He said the overall goal of the sector is to achieve a 7 percent growth rate per year over the next five years as the sector is key if the country is to achieve food security.
The PS said the sector contributes 26 percent to GDP and 60 percent of all export earnings. According to the ministry of Agriculture, tea, horticulture and coffee exports in 2010 amounted to $1.12 billion, 892 million dollars and 185 million dollars respectively.
“The sector is a key contributor to economic growth and therefore has important implications for poverty reduction. Experience has shown that when the sector grows the rest of the economy also grows as it is a large employer in the country,” Koome said.