By George Munene
During the short to medium-term period, 2023/24-2025/26, Kenya’s Rural and Urban Agriculture Development (ARUD) sector plans on implementing 10 major programmes worth an accumulated Sh422 million in order to facilitate the attainment of food and nutrition security, agro-processing, employment creation and utilisation of the blue economy.
Released today–30th December 2022– as the agriculture sector’s 2023/24 and medium-term budget the key interventions during this period include:
Production and distribution of 149 million doses of livestock vaccines, 3.65 million doses of semen, and 3,200 improved breed embryos.
Support insurance cover for 350,000 Tropical Livestock Units (TLUs) and provision of crop insurance covering 2.65 million farmers in 43 counties.
Providing 1,029,160 metric tons (MT) of agricultural inputs to 2.25 million farmers; provision of 600MT of certified maize seeds; 100MT of rice seeds, 15,000 MT of Irish potato seeds, and 950,000 assorted seedlings.
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Distribution of 25,000 liters of pesticides and 300 MT of aflasafe to address post-harvest losses and transboundary pests.
Incubation of 6,440 youth on agribusiness skills; incubation of 300 SMEs and establishment of 5 pilot mechanization hubs; enhancing market information and access through KAMIS and development of market infrastructure; capacity-building of 6,700 technical officers on extension services.
Capacity building for 3,000 deep sea fishing crew; development of Ultra-Modern Tuna Fish Hub; Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance (MCS) in 2 water bodies; rehabilitation of Fishing Port at Liwatoni and 2 fish markets; complete construction of 15 fish landing sites; empowering 16,000 smallholder aquaculture farmers with pond construction materials.
Registration and issuance of 1.3 million title deeds countrywide; settlement of 41,000 landless households; digitization of land records in 45 land offices; verification of 3,000 allotment letters; preparation and issuance of 11,250 allotment letters.
Compulsory land acquisition for 70 infrastructural development projects; investigation and resolution of 2,800 historical land injustice claims.
The report outlined technological gaps, and their adoption; diseases, pests, and invasive weeds as emerging issues within the agriculture sector.
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While ongoing challenges include climate change, budgetary cuts, delays in the release of exchequers, delays in approval of policies and enactment of Bills, urban sprawl, land fragmentation, and high cost of agricultural inputs among others.
In order to address the challenges and enhance effective performance, the sector recommends the adoption of climate-smart technologies, effective land use management, reduction of cost of production, automation, and modernization of facilities and processes.
To actualise these projects the sector requires Sh422 billion in both development and recurrent expenditure over the medium term. Sh253 billion is projected in allocations reflecting an overall resource gap of Sh170 billion.