- The World Bank injected $450 million (Sh71.2 billion) to support the agricultural sector in 2021
- The project seeks to increase market participation and value addition for 500,000 small scale farmers in 26 counties
The government has called for collaboration with counties to save the country Sh620 billion spent on food imports every year.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi said the money can be used to produce more food and the surplus exported.
This will increase the foreign currency reserves in the country and stabilise the Shilling.
“The idea behind our subsidy programme is to support production and not consumption,” Linturi said.
He said the fertiliser subsidy doubled maize production from the previous 32 million to 61 million bags last year.
Linturi said more needs to be done to improve the country's food security.
“Food security means we also reduce the budget we spend on health because a well-fed nation rarely gets sick,” Linturi said.
He spoke during a meeting with the Council of Governors and World Bank in Mombasa.
World Bank injected $450 million (Sh71.2 billion) in 2021 to support the agricultural sector.
The first two major projects, the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth and the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture have been fully implemented.
About $250 million (Sh39.6 billion) was channeled to the new National Agricultural Value Chain Development project.
The project seeks to increase market participation and value addition for 500,000 small scale farmers in 26 counties.
NAVCDP will build on the foundation set by the NARIG and KCSAP.
It will focus in dairy, poultry, fruits and vegetable farming.
Farmers in coffee, cotton, cashew nut, pyrethrum and apiculture value chains will also be included.
Linturi said the success of the projects is due to the good working relationship between the two levels of government and the World Bank.
He said so far, lives of 1.5 million farmers have been changed. More than five million farmers are expected to be touched in the next project.
About 6.5 million farmers have so far been registered since last year.
“We can see results of collaboration. We may have challenges but when we sit down and iron out issues, things move fast,” Linturi said.
CoG Agriculture committee chairman Ken Lusaka said the World Bank projects have been implemented in 45 counties.
“We are looking forward to more collaborations. I urge other ministries to also collaborate with counties,” he said.
CoG Agriculture committee vice chairman and Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga urged county governments to increase agriculture funding.
He said it is not sustainable to depend on World Bank.
“We have observed that 80 per cent of agriculture funding comes from World Bank and that is not very sustainable. We need to increase our budgetary allocation,” Kahiga said.
Linturi said the government has put focus on coconut farming to increase palm oil production.
“That is why when you fertiliser, we give you sunflower seeds for free,” he said.
The CS said the government will crackdown dealers in fake seeds, fertiliser and pesticides.
“We will move with speed to make sure that those people are apprehended,” Linturi said.
Pest Control and Products Board CEO Fredrick Muchiri was last year, after his appointment, urged to deal with the unscrupulous traders.