Previously agriculture has been an underfunded sector when compared to education and health, though it provides a source of livelihood to 71.1 per cent of Kenyans.
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In his budgetary address, Henry Rotich, Kenyan’s cabinet secretary for the national treasury, explained that a sustainable economic transformation strategy must embrace sectors in which the majority of the people derive their livelihoods.
“This will largely depend on unlocking the potential of the sector through active participation of the private sector along the value chain,” said Rotich.
“The expansion of agricultural output will also increase food supplies, reduce food prices and bring down the cost of living, create employment and promote overall rural development.”
The cabinet secretary said, 9.5 billion Kenyan shillings was being allocated towards the on-going irrigation projects to ensure full realization of food security and lower food prices.
Rotich added that irrigation would also be prioritised in partnership with financial institutions and development partners.
“We are rolling out a model farm covering 10,000 acres, as part of the one million acre irrigation project at Galana Ranch,” said Rotich.
“Concurrently, we are engaging with financial institutions and development partners to establish an Agri- Business Fund, which the private sector can access in order to fast track implementation of the one million acre irrigation project and agricultural transformation ventures throughout the country.”
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Rotich also expressed interest in employment creation in the sector.
“In order to create more employment opportunities in the sector, I have allocated 0.3 billion Kenyan shillings for the revival of the Pyrethrum sector, and another 0.3 billion Kenyan shillings for establishment of Free Disease Zone.”
Rotich also allocated 8.2 billion Kenyan shillings for construction of water pans and dams, 4.1 billion shillings for water supply and sanitation, and 1.5 billion shillings for environmental protection conservation and management.