Posted on :Friday , 26th April 2019
Agriculture is the key to Kenya's economy, contributing 26 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and another 27 per cent of (GDP) indirectly through linkages with other sectors. The sector employs more than 40 per cent of the total population and more than 70 per cent of Kenya's rural people. In the rural economy the agricultural sector continues to play a vital role. While, agriculture in Kenya is large and complex, with a multitude of non-governmental, parastatal, private sectors and public, the importance of County Governments' role in ensuring food security is underscored.
The sector accounts for 65 per cent of the export earnings, provides the food security needs income, employment and livelihood, for more than 80 per cent of the Kenyan population and also contributes to improving nutrition through production of safe, diverse and nutrient dense foods. The sector is also the min driver of the non-agricultural economy including manufacturing, providing inputs and markets for non-agricultural operations such as building/construction, transportation, tourism, education and other social services.
Changing poverty dynamics within Kenya are directly influencing the country's agricultural sector. Introducing modern irrigation methods to farmers as those, who are used to rain-fed farming systems, are being pushed into dryer, more marginal areas where they become increasingly vulnerable to drought and the unpredictability of weather patterns resulting from climate change. The population increase, coupled with the expansion of agriculture into arid lands, has affected the dynamics of pastoralism, where increased competition for natural resources has sparked escalated conflict in some areas. Furthermore, there has been a marked increase in the number of people dropping out of the nomadic livelihood, often moving into settled communities which are heavily reliant on food aid.
The sector's importance in poverty alleviation cannot be overstated given the importance of agriculture in rural areas of Kenya where poverty is prevalent. Strengthening and improving the performance of the agricultural sector and enabling the engagement of the poorest and most vulnerable in this process is therefore a prerequisite and a necessary condition for achieving recovery and growth in Kenya after recent years of slow development and drought.
To improve the economy the Kenyan, government intends to ensure that the country attains 100 per cent food security and nutrition by 2030.
The government is giving attention to availability of idle public land for production industrial crops and of food as well as construction of fish markets and auction centers in Mombasa and Malindi under public-private partnership arrangements the government is also keen to facilitate identification systems as well. The contribution of agriculture to the country is seen in the vision 2030 puts agriculture as central to the development of the country’s economy.