Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy with the majority of Kenyans depending on this sector for their livelihood. Also it is the leading export in this country with majority of local industries depending on agricultural produce as their raw material.
Agriculture could not discussed in isolation of land, natural resources and environment hence lack of clear policy on this area has an effect on the growth of this sector. Lack of clear policy on land and its utility has created conflicts between pastoralists and farmers. Illegal land transactions and marginalization of indigenous communities has caused land clashes. All this has negative impact on agricultural development.
Agriculture in Kenya is classified into two major categories firstly, Large Scale
or Commercial farming which is mostly owner by multinational companies. Secondly,
Small Scale or Peasant farming which is owner mostly by locals and comprises the
bigger number of Kenya’s population. While in large scale farming, farmers are well-
In order for this sector to prosper, it needs total commitment and support from the Government. Due to unchecked liberalization, many local industries collapse due to unfair competition from imported goods such as sugar and cotton produce. In return the collapse of such industries affected the farmers of such produce. Further women constitute 80% of the labour force in the agricultural sector. However, due to cultural inhibitions they are not allowed to own land and therefore they are prevented from accessing capital or credit in order to improve their agricultural projects.
The development of agriculture is hampered by the human/wildlife conflict in many ways for instance huge arable land has been reserved for wildlife at the expense of agriculture. Further the human/wildlife conflict has frequent loss of life and agricultural produce by wild animals yet there is poor compensation from the government for such a loss. Failure to introduce tariff barriers continues to undermine the competitive nature of the local produce for the world market, under the stringent World Trade Organization (WTO) Rules. Liberalization of the market has compounded the problem further.
Finally, farmers have been waiting for too long after delivering their produce to the government agency such as cereals board and others to get theirs payment. This has discouraged many people not to take agriculture and farming as their economic activity.
Shirikisho envision a clear policy o agriculture guarantee food security policy on agriculture guarantying food security to the country, empowering local and small scale farmers to compete effectively against large scale farmers. We also envision a policy that guarantees markets for the local produce and access to credit for effective development of the sector.
1. Develop a clear agricultural policy which will guarantee national food security in the country.
2. Devolve the implementation and management of the agricultural policy throughout the country.
3. Create a conducive legal framework for the implementation of the agricultural policy.
4. Strengthen the farmers’ cooperative societies in accessing credit and market.
5. Emphasize on better farming methods for increased productivity.
6. Ensure that we protect our agro-
7. Ensure we improve the infrastructure to enable the farmers to easily access both the local and international markets.
8. Address the human/wildlife conflict.
9. Support regional economic blocks for purposes of maintaining markets for local agricultural produce.
10. Increase research and technology in the agricultural sector.