|»||Agriculture to drive economic growth|
Author: David Musyoka
Date: 11 Feb 13
Kenya’s economic experts expect a strong recovery in agriculture to boost real economic growth according to a survey done by investment bank Renaissance Capital.
Kenya’s agricultural production is expected be higher in second half as this is when the harvest for the longest rain season falls. In the first half of the year, agriculture sector grew by 1.9 percent.
“The late start to the long rains in 2012, which usually begin in March, and heavy rains in parts of the country initially led us to believe that the second quarter agricultural production would be tempered,” said Yvonne Mhango, Sub-Saharan Africa economist for Renaissance Capital, basing her views on conversations she had with various Kenya’s business and public sector leaders last week.
“But we heard otherwise from the experts we met. They actually believe Kenya’s agriculture performance in 2012 will mirror that of 2010 when its growth strengthened to 7.9 percent,” she added.
“We are now more confident about agriculture’s second half performance, but not as optimistic as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about economic growth of 6 percent, partly due to credit growth’s sharp slowdown. We have thus upwardly revised our 2012 growth projection to 4 percent, from 3.7 percent initially,” she said in a briefing released on Tuesday. ...Read More
|»||Eldoret Airport to Spur Horticultral Farming in North Rift, Western Region|
Author: Mathews Ndanyi
Date: 7 Dec 12
The government plans to increase cargo handling at the Eldoret International Airport as part of improving the airport's performance.
Agriculture minister Sally Kosgey says the government will role out a plan that will see farmers in the North Rift and Western Kenya regions use the airport to export their horticultural crops and flowers.
The minister has directed the Horticultural Crops Development Authority to help educate farmers on how they can diversify their farming and venture into horticultural farming to increase production.
The new initiatives are being implemented after Kosgey met with farmers and organisation that are involved in farming at the airport last month.
"We want our farmers to increase their crop production and venture into the horticultural business for export," said the minister.
"It's a new area where our farmers are yet to fully exploit their potential." ...Read More
|»||Irish potato farmers to benefit from imported quality seeds|
Author: Ronald Owili
Date: 29 Nov 12
Locally produced potatoes have failed to get market from big hotels and high-end fast food restaurants
Irish Potato farmers are set to benefit from new high yielding seeds from Netherlands distributed by the government.
Agriculture PS Dr. Romano Kiome says his ministry has decided to import the seeds to encourage potato farming and ensure Kenya produces high quality potatoes with an eye on the export market that demands such superior quality produce.
Locally produced potatoes have failed to get market from big hotels and high-end fast food restaurants.
This has mainly been attributed to low quality issues with the high-end buyers demanding for very high quality potatoes, which are currently being imported from South Africa and Egypt. ...Read More
|»||Rice Farmers Lose Harvest to Floods|
Author: Boniface Onyango
Date: 16 Nov 12
Flash floods have washed away the rice harvest of some 2,000 farmers in western Kenya, flooding some of their homes and sending latrine effluent into water courses, according to officials and residents.
"We are estimating that some 2,000 farmers have lost their crops due to the raging floods. Much of this crop had been harvested and was still in the farms being dried," said James Samo, agricultural specialist at the Ministry of Agriculture.
The affected farmers live in the 870-hectare Kano Plains rice irrigation scheme in Kisumu District.
"Heavy rains are wreaking havoc here and our only source of livelihood, rice, is threatened. The floods have washed [it all away] and are threatening to displace us. I only managed to salvage a few bags of rice when the water subsided," Leonard Onyango, a rice farmer, told IRIN. ...Read More
|»||Kenya sees 2013 growth rising on strong farms output|
Author: Drazen Jorgic
Date: 14 Nov 12
Kenya's economy will grow 5.6 percent in 2013, outperforming this year's forecast of 5.1 percent, thanks to strong rains boosting farm output, the Finance Ministry said on Monday.
In a budget review and outlook presentation, the ministry predicted GDP growth would pick up to 6.8 percent in fourth quarter 2012 from 6.4 percent in the third, helped by a rebound in agriculture, construction, wholesale and retail.
"We expect growth of 5.6 percent (next year)... and we assume normal weather," Henry Rotich, Finance Ministry's deputy director of economic affairs, told Reuters.
"A lot of infrastructure is now getting completed and we see that's going to improve private sector investments. Tourism we expect to improve with improved security," said Rotich. Fears of Islamist violence deterred tourists earlier this year.
East Africa's largest economy took a beating last year after rapid credit growth drove down the value of the shilling and sent inflation soaring, forcing the central bank to ramp its key interest rate up to 18 percent.
While inflation has now subsided below 5 percent, giving the bank more room to cut rates and stimulate growth, some economists see the ministry growth forecasts as optimistic. ...Read More
|»||Parastatals to Go in Sweeping Agriculture Reforms|
Author: George Omondi
Date: 13 Nov 12
The sun will soon set on dozens of state corporations, if Parliament finally accepts far-reaching reforms that seek to turn-around the agricultural sector.
While some will be scrapped, others will operate as directorates or merge to form influential and efficient authorities. Profit-making ones will be turned into companies.
It is still not clear how many state corporations will be affected. But initial reforms target about 30. Apart from parastatals, the reforms may also see the merging of ten sector ministries into a single ministry of agriculture, land and animal resources. The reform proposals are contained in five Bills now before Parliament. ...Read More
|»||Nile Water Not Helping Farmers, Report Says|
Author: Manuel Odeny
Date: 12 Nov 12
The Nile Basin has enough water for agriculture but water management policies in its 11 countries risk locking out small-scale farmers, a new research has found out.
The research, which has been published in a new book, The Nile River Basin: Water, Agriculture, Governance and Livelihoods, calls on governments to invest in agricultural water management initiatives like irrigation and rain water harvesting to help small-scale farmers grow food throughout the year.
"Agriculture, the economic bedrock of all eleven Nile countries and the most important source of income for the majority of the region's people, is under increased pressure to feed the basin's burgeoning population--already 180 million people, half of which live below the poverty line," the book says.
The research says that even though the Nile and its tributaries are abundant lack of access to water is another area that could negatively affects the poor. ...Read More
|»||Importers of wheat headed for tough year|
Author: ALLAN ODHIAMBO
Date: 9 Nov 12
Global wheat demand is projected to drop slightly to 687 million tonnes but still remain above production for the second consecutive season, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said.
This situation is already piling pressure on prices, leaving net importers vulnerable to more expensive supplies.
“International wheat prices are unlikely to retreat to lower levels without a strong rebound in world production in 2013,” FAO said in a new forecast released on Thursday.
Kenya is a net importer of wheat, with consumption of about 900,000 tonnes per year. Annual wheat production in Kenya stands at about 350,000 tonnes, meaning it imports close to two-thirds of its requirements. Kenya mainly imports wheat from Egypt and Mauritius through the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) trade bloc. ...Read More
|»||Production of Grain Falls Short in Nile Basin|
Author: Walter Menya
Date: 6 Nov 12
Production of cereals continue to fall short of consumer demands within the Nile Basin countries according to a study on cross-border trade launched last week.
The most affected is maize production, whose shortfall is attributed to low application of fertilizers, low quality seed and lack of proper husbandry practices, according to the CBT-Corridor Commodity Chain Analysis for grains and pulses launched in Lweza, Uganda.
"The study on the CBT analysis revealed that despite efforts made to ensure food security in the region, cereals production and maize supply in particular continues to fall short of consumer demands thus necessitating imports," a statement accompanying the study said.
|»||Passion fruit farming the next frontier in agribusiness|
Author: AGATHA NGOTHO
Date: 5 Nov 12
Passion fruit farming is gaining popularity in Kenya but access to information on management of orchards and poor market access stand in the way for many farmers.
Sylvia Mbaabu, a market information systems manager from the Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness project, says there is a huge market in neighbouring Uganda while much of the product is exported to Europe.
“Kenyan consumption of passion fruit at the retail level is low while bananas are the highest. Despite a poor market in Kenya, the demand for Kenya’s passion fruits in Uganda is high and more farmers are taking up this farming,” says Mbaabu.
She says that passion fruits especially from Rift Valley region are preferred in Uganda for their thick skin which makes them have a longer shelf life.
Kenya exports nearly 40,000 tonnes of purple passion fruits a year with over 67.4 per cent going to Uganda. ...Read More