SH1.7 BILLION LESS

State cuts spending on farming in new budget

Yatani announces Sh60 billion to the sector, down from Sh61.7 billion in the last financial year.

In Summary

• The Food Security and Crop Diversification Project received Sh620 million, while Sh3.1 billion will be used for free disease holding ground in Lamu.

•  Yatani allocated Sh10.7 billion to increasing agricultural productivity and enhance resilience to climate change risks in smallholder farming and pastoral communities.

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani.
Treasury CS Ukur Yatani.
Image: FILE

The government has reduced its allocation to agriculture by close to Sh2 billion in the 2021-22 budget.

National Treasury and Planning CS Ukur Yatani announced Sh60 billion to the sector, down from Sh61.7 billion in the last financial year.

He said the government’s efforts to make food cheaper and available to all Kenyans were bearing fruit, with various initiatives aimed at supporting farming, livestock rearing and fish production.

“Key allocations in this budget include Sh7 billion for the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusivity Project, Sh1.5 billion for small scale irrigation and value addition project. Sh2.7 billion will support the Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme. The desert locust control response has been allocated Sh1.8 billion while Sh1.5 billion will go to the National Value Chain Support Project,” he said.

The Food Security and Crop Diversification Project received Sh620 million, while Sh3.1 billion will be used for free disease holding ground in Lamu.

Yatani allocated Sh10.7 billion to increasing agricultural productivity and enhancing resilience to climate change risks in targeted smallholder farming and pastoral communities.

The insurance scheme for livestock and crops got Sh529.5 million, Sh3.2 billion went to the aquaculture sub-sector while the Kenya Marine Fisheries got Sh3.4 billion.

The CS added that Sh2.1 billion had been set aside for the construction of Liwatoni Fishing Complex while Sh1 billion will be used for construction of a fish processing plant in Lamu.

The Crop Development and Agricultural Research department's budget was reduced by 11 per cent to Sh44.9 billion in the current financial year. Still, it received the highest allocation among all the agriculture departments.

Yatani said the ministry will spend the cash to strengthen agricultural mechanisation in order to improve productivity and increase farmers’ incomes.  

“In order to reduce pre and post-harvest losses, the finances will be deployed through provision of 750 metric tonnes of Aflasafe, 300 moisture meters, 450 hand shellers and 5,500 hermetic bags,” he said.

The CS said realisation of priority programmes under the Big Four agenda is a critical path to supporting sustainable economic recovery, accelerating  employment creation, supporting manufacturing activities, enhancing health coverage, improving food and nutrition security and living conditions through affordable housing.