Wednesday, 4 February 2015

2015/2016 budget to focus more on agriculture

The government will in the financial year that starts in July focus on programmes aimed at ensuring that Kenya’s food basket does not run dry as well as cushion the economy against external and internal shocks.
In the budget policy statement, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich says focus will be on increasing agricultural production and productivity through the farm inputs subsidy programmes, mechanized agriculture, irrigated agriculture improved animal genetics and vaccine production, exploitation of deep sea fisheries, as well as increasing and expanding strategic food reserves.
Over the past 3 years, the government embarked on transforming agriculture across the country from rain fed agriculture to irrigation to ensure that Kenya can feed her citizens.
The biggest project in this regard is the 1 million acre Galana Irrigation Scheme that according to the ministry of Agriculture will see the first crop harvested this month.
The National Treasury says a key pillar in this strategy will be the securing of markets and sustaining production and supply of quality and standardized agricultural products.
And to tap into the rather struggling livestock sector, the government is expected to initiate a program for modern commercial dairy and poultry farming.
Here focus will be on securing contracts for various livestock and dairy products as well as supporting farmers through extension services and access to financial services.
Rotich says the economy remains vulnerable to external and domestic shocks and in particular to droughts and other weather related shocks, whose frequency has increased due to the prevalence of rain fed agriculture and high dependency on hydro power generation.

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