What is Ailing the Agricultural Sector in Kenya?

Small scale agriculture in Kenya is quickly losing its appeal as an income generating venture. More youth are abandoning farming activities in the rural areas in search of better opportunities in the urban areas. This is largely attributed to the fact that small scale farming has, over the years become unyielding. Cost of production in agriculture is very high. In fact, the cost of production in Kenya is higher than any other country in East Africa. This can largely be attributed to the taxes levied on agricultural input. It costs more to hire laborers, land and buy farming inputs in Kenya compared to other countries. Because it costs more to produce anything in Kenya compared to its neighbors, imported produce is cheaper compared to local produce. So we import. For example, 90% of Kenya’s pineapple and eggs comes from Uganda. We import fruits from Egypt, Tanzania and South Africa. The cheaper imports contribute significantly to the demise to the local commercial agricultural sector Agriculture is availability of water. Kenya has been ravaged by a cycle of droughts and floods. Climate change has made it difficult to predict the onset of long rains and the short rains have become too short to sustain another crop. On the other hand, Irrigation services are too expensive for any small scale commercial farmer. Extension officers from the ministry of Agriculture have become nothing but a distant memory. There was a time in Kenyan agriculture where extension services was available to small scale farmers. These extension officers would advise farmers on good agricultural methods to improve output. Sadly these services are not available anymore. At Jitokeze Wamama Waafrika, we are helping farmers mitigate the problems ailing small scale commercial farmers by providing advice, and when possible, seed to farmers so that they are able to improve their livelihood and food security.
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