The state has asked private sector players to invest in agricultural ventures to help meet 100 per cent food security by 2022.
Speaking during a meeting with private sector partners on the implementation of the Big Four agenda, Chief Adminstratative Secretary for the Agriculture Andrew Tuimur said public investment in agriculture is not quite enough to sustain the desired outcomes in terms of food production and security.
“High input prices and poor agricultural market systems, rapid population growth, high post harvest losses, unsuitable production systems and climate change pose the biggest challenge to sustainable food production,” he said.
Although Kenya plans to increase the agriculture budget from current Sh39.4 billion to Sh43.218 billion in 2020-21 financial year, the amount is still significantly low, at 2.4 per cent of the country’s total budget, way below FAO’s 10 per cent threshold.
”To address the gap in agricultural financing that is not supported by development partners and the Government, collaboration efforts are required to reduce the deficit through private sector investment,” Tuimur said.
Data by the Food and Agriculture Organization shows close to four million people receive food aid annually while the country experiences 20 to 30 per cent deficit in staple foods every year.
FAO revealed maize has a deficit of 12 million bags, wheat 595,000 tonnes, rice 425,570 tonnes, sugar 230,000 tonnes, milk 334 million litres and fish 314,900 tonnes.