Sun. Oct 13th, 2019

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AGRA Supports Kenya to Develop and Launch New Agriculture Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy

4 min read

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has commended Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation (MoALFI) for launching  its 10-year Agriculture Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS), which aims to reinforce the position of agriculture as a major driver of economic growth for the country.

The Strategy, unveiled at the 3rd Intergovernmental Agriculture Forum in the Coast City of Mombasa last week, seeks to support the achievement of one of the government’s Big Four agenda – Food security – and will be delivered through nine flagship programmes, informed by sectoral data analysis, global best practices, and local realities.

From the outset, the ASTGS, is designed to increase the opportunities for small scale farmers, pastoralists and fisherfolk by increasing agricultural output and boosting household food resilience.

In this regard, the ASTGS will set up six agro-processing hubs around the country and launch three knowledge and skills building programmes focused on technical and management skills for 200 national and county government transformation leaders, 1000 farmer-facing SMES and 3000 extension agents.

This is in addition to unlocking 50 new large scale farms with 150,000 current farms under sustainable irrigation from existing infrastructure.

“We have made progress in modernizing agriculture in Kenya, but we have not yet reached our full potential. To achieve this potential, we must do agriculture in a different way, from how we create policy at the national level, to how we allocate resources in our farming households,” said Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri, MoALFI’s cabinet secretary.

“This strategy will be critical in achieving Kenya’s Big 4 agenda especially on food self-sufficiency by 2022,” Added Hon. Kiunjuri.

The ASTGS was based on the understanding that agriculture is a key pillar of the country’s economy, accounting for 33% of total GDP, 60% of informal employment and 60% of the export market.

AGRA’s support to the development of the strategy reaffirms its commitment to working with various partners, private sector and governments to catalyze various interventions that stimulate actions at farmer level in an integrated approach that is also sustainable.

Commending Kenya on this milestone AGRA President Dr. Agnes Kalibata described the ASTGS as an idea whose time has come.

“Together with our partners, we have committed to focus our energies on supporting stronger state capability because we acknowledge its critical role in driving any transformation agenda.  Records show that in countries where state capability has been effective, delivery of results has been registered and progress has been steady with prospects of sustainability,” she said.

For ultimate results, the Strategy will be implemented as a collaborative effort between MoALFI, the County Governments and related ministries, notably: Devolution and ASAL areas; Environment and Forestry; Industry, Trade and Cooperatives; Lands and Physical Planning; Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development; Water and Sanitation, and the National Treasury. Various non-state agencies, including AGRA, and private holdings will also play a role in the successful deployment of the Strategy.

In the first five years of execution,the ASGTS will deliver quick wins, based on a structural transformation driven by several legislative processes. An evaluative exercise will be conducted after the five years elapse with the intention of developing innovative interventions for the remainder of the decade.

The newly established Agricultural Transformation Office (ATO) will serve as the national secretariat coordinating the implementation of the strategy at an estimated cost of KSh 440 billion over five years – KSh 230 billion in agriculture-specific costs, and KSh 210 billion in supportive spend.

“With the right approach, up to 80% of costs could be financed through public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the agro-processing and arable land flagships,” reads the Strategy, in part.

“The Government of Kenya (GoK) and its development partners would need to finance the remaining 20%, including incentives, extension, and the enablers. The GoK, therefore, needs to raise an additional KES 8-10 billion per year, approximately 30% more than its current disbursed budgets.”

The ASTGS is set to improve the lives of 3.3 million small-scale farming households (approximately 15 million Kenyans), while contributing an additional annual agricultural GDP of KES 170 billion for the next five years.

The ASTGS was the outcome of several consultative meetings between key stakeholders in the agriculture sector, and was structured around the principles of sustainable development goals, tenets of Agenda 2063, NEPAD/CAADP Malabo commitments and the constitutional obligations of a devolved system of governance.

The Strategy was guided by lessons from the implementation of the Agriculture Sector Development Strategy (ASDS), the overall national policy document that outlined the characteristics, challenges, opportunities, vision, mission, strategic thrusts and interventions needed to propel the agricultural sector forward between 2010 and 2020.

AGRA’s support to the strategy is part of the Partnerships for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA) whose members include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

For more details,
read the full 2019-2029 ASTGS here.

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