As a farmer or a stakeholder in the agricultural value chain, knowledge of Kenyan agricultural policies is important. A policy is a goal used by the government in order to influence economic variables such as prices, incomes and exchange rates. They influence behaviors, perceptions and attitudes of people in the country to achieve certain agricultural objectives. There are three areas they can be targeted which include raw materials, production and processing. The goals of polices is to achieve various outcomes such as; product quality and quantity, land use and employment or even price stability.
For the Kenyan government to intervene in agriculture through policies it aims at several concerns such as
- Dwindling agricultural performance. Agriculture in Kenya employs about 70% of the population directly and indirectly. Therefore, if agriculture is recording poor performance either through poor yields or low prices, it means that the many that depend on it for income or food will be affected. This then becomes a reason for government to address this through a policy for example increasing output through using of improved technology
- About 17% of land in Kenya depends on rain leaving the larger part as ASALS and not suitable for rain fed agriculture. This then becomes a key policy concern for the government. Policies that support land use intensification through measures such as irrigation are then or should then be introduced.
- Limited diversification of produce that lead to vulnerability of farmer income is also a policy concern. There should therefore be efforts to enhance agro processing to increase the value of the produce. For example through drying of kale during periods we have overproduction to lengthen their shelf life and therefore benefit the farmer.
- We have all experienced very poor roads that are in rural areas that have high agriculture production e.g. in Dairy and Tea areas that affect the farmers as they transport the produce to the markets that lead to very high transaction costs. Infrastructure then becomes an agricultural policy concern to be addressed.
That’s it for Agri economics session for today. Be sure to leave your questions and comments.