Agriculture is 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. Although it’s a vital sector in Kenya, farmers still face serious challenges such as limited access to financial services, poor marketing systems, high post-harvest losses and low adoption of technologies. In efforts to improve the sector and enhance food security, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries (MoALF) plans to support farmers’ access credit services, mechanization services and markets through Agri-Chain Development program. The Ministry convened a meeting with the relevant stakeholders to discuss and fast-track the implementation process. While the farmer support program was initiated by the government, it is expected to be driven by the private sector. The program targets potato, maize and rice value chains.
In attendance were representatives from Toyota Tsusho Fertilizer Africa, Cooperative bank, East African Grain Council, Mechanization companies, Kenya Defense Forces-Food Complex and NPCK. The targeted pilot cooperatives are Mateeny Cooperative society in Uasin Gishu, Bunyalla Cooperative society in Busia and Murungaru Cooperative society in Nyandarua dealing with Maize, Rice and Potato respectively. The pilot program targets to support the cooperatives access mechanization services, finances and contract farming. The implementation process is expected to run from 20th January to 4th February 2020.