Agriculture is the mainstay of the Kenyan economy directly contributing 26 % of the GDP annually, and another 25 % indirectly out of only about Kenya’s 20% arable land. The sector accounts for 65 % of Kenya’s total exports and provides more than 70 % of informal employment in the rural areas.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in Kenya is vested with the power of overseeing the agricultural sector. The former Ministries of; Agriculture, Livestock Development and Fisheries Development have been merged into Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
The Government of Kenya is strongly committed to reducing hunger and malnutrition. The Food and Nutrition Security Policy (FNSP) provides an overarching framework covering the multiple dimensions of food security and nutrition improvement. It is the policy of the Government that all Kenyans, throughout their life cycle enjoy at all times safe food and water in sufficient quantity and quality to satisfy their nutritional needs for optimal health.
The broad objectives of the FNSP are:
- To achieve adequate nutrition for optimum health of all Kenyans;
- To increase the quantity and quality of food available, accessible and affordable to all Kenyans at all times; and
- To protect vulnerable populations using innovative and cost-effective safety nets linked to long-term development
In June 2008 Kenya adopted the Kenya Vision 2030 as a new blue print for Kenya’s development. The Vision 2030 is the road map for the Kenya’s economic and social development in the next two decades. It aims at transforming Kenya into “a newly industrializing, middle income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens in a clean and secure environment”. In the Vision, agriculture is identified as a key sector in achieving the envisaged annual economic growth rate. This shall be achieved through transformation of smallholder agriculture from subsistence to an innovative, commercially-oriented and modern agricultural sector. Vision 2030 was followed by the revision of the Strategy for Revitalizing Agriculture (SRA, 2004-2014), this revision led to development of the Agriculture Sector Development Strategy (ASDS, 2010-2020)
The Agricultural Sector Development Strategy (ASDS) is the overall national policy document for the sector ministries and all stakeholders in Kenya. The document outlines the characteristics, challenges, opportunities, vision, mission, strategic thrusts and the various interventions that the ministries will undertake to propel the agricultural sector to the future. As a revision of the Strategy for Revitalizing Agriculture (SRA), the ASDS has incorporated not only the successes but also the lessons learned from the SRA to provide the framework for stimulating, guiding and directing progressive agricultural growth and development in the next 10 years.
Agricultural cooperatives form 46 per cent of all cooperative societies in the country. They have 3 million members out of a total membership of 7 million in the entire cooperative movement. The cooperatives are member-owned and -operated organizations. The Government recognizes the role played by cooperatives in the economy and has emphasized the need to revitalize the cooperatives sector to play a more significant role in reviving the economy through improved governance and management capacity.
Agricultural Research Institutions and Corporations
- Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)
- Kenya Forestry Research Institute
- Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute
- Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute
- Coffee Research Foundation
- Tea Research Foundation of Kenya
- Kenya Sugar Research Foundation
- Kenya Seed Company (KSC)
- National Irrigation Board
Statutory Boards and Development Authorities
Statutory boards provide regulatory and specialized services on behalf of the Government. There are many commodity and non-commodity regulatory boards and companies performing these functions. Although the functioning of some boards has improved, most still require intervention to improve their performance. Regional Development Authorities (RDAs) were formed with the overall objective of ensuring optimal exploitation of river basin resources for equitable, balanced and sustainable development within their areas of jurisdiction. There are six authorities:
- Coast Development Authority
- Ewaso Ng’iro North Development Authority
- Ewaso Ng’iro South Development Authority
- Kerio Valley Development Authority
- V.Lake Basin Development Authority
- Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority
The information under the sector is organized as below;
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