Kenya Plans to Boost Farm Output 6% Annually Over Five Years

(Bloomberg) -- Kenya, the world’s largest exporter of black tea, plans to boost output from agriculture to 3.9 trillion shillings ($39 billion) from 2.9 trillion shillings, through a compounded annual growth rate of 6% during the first half of a 10-year plan.

In the initial phase of the Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy, Kenya intends to boost agro-processing income by 50% or 130 billion shillings, eliminate the need for food aid and boost small-scale farmers’ average income to 625 shillings daily from 465 shillings, according to the Ministry of Agriculture’s website.

“Early estimates indicate that the strategy could improve the lives of 3.3 million small-scale farming households, approximately 15 million Kenyans, and contribute additional agricultural GDP of up to 170 billion shillings per annum in five years,” according to the plan.

Kenya’s economy expanded 6.3% last year, the fastest pace in eight years, and is forecast to grow at a similar rate this year. Agricultural production, which accounts for about a third of the economy, advanced 6.6% in 2018 from 1.8% a year earlier when drought and fall armyworm infestations curbed output.

The 2019-2029 plan will implement nine programs including setting up six agro-processing hubs and placing 50 closely held farms totaling 150,000 acres (60,700 hectares) under irrigation. The plan also envisions providing 1.4 million farming households with subsidized agricultural inputs.

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