|»||Create fertiliser industry to reap from possible natural gas find|
Author: George Wachira
Date: 2 Nov 11
President Kibaki recently announced the establishment of a Fertiliser and Seeds Fund to support what now appears to be a programme targeting an “agricultural revolution” driven by the need to make Kenya self-sufficient and secure in food production.
It is apparent within the government and across the country that Kenya is determined to prioritise agriculture as an essential component of socio-economic development.
To capture Kenyans’ minds, hearts and educate them to embrace agriculture, the leadership should come up with a “catch phrase” to orient Kenyans’ psyche towards agriculture.
A few years ago, Tanzania came up with a national slogan, “Ukulima Kwanza” (Swahili for agriculture first), to guide the national campaign to boost farming.
A successful and sustainable agricultural programme requires adequate water (rain and irrigation), inputs (seeds and fertilisers), credit support, effective marketing systems and extension services. The government and NGOs are visibly working on most of these requirements with Kenya Agricultural Research Institute developing appropriate seeds. ...Read More
|»||Farmer cooperatives key to reducing hunger, poverty|
Author: Henry Neondo
Date: 1 Nov 11
Smallholder farmers’ cooperatives own assets worth USD2.7 billion in Kenya and account for more than 60 per cent of the Mauritius national food production. Now according to the the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), smallholder farmers union are key componsent to improving the lives of millions of rural farmers across the world.
Ranging from small-scale to multi-million dollar businesses across the globe, cooperatives operate in all sectors of the economy, count over 800 million members and provide 100 million jobs worldwide -- 20 per cent more than multinational enterprises. In 2008, the largest 300 cooperatives in the world had an aggregate turnover of US$1.1 trillion, comparable to the gross domestic product (GDP) of many large countries.
|»|| Funding agriculture will be the most prudent investment Kenya can make|
Author: NICHOLAS DANIELS
Date: 31 Oct 11
Government ministries recently started the long and complicated process of planning for the 2012 Budget. By June next year, Kenyans will know what the government plans to spend on vital development programmes, and how much financial clout will be given to county governments.
Importantly, the general public will have a chance to discuss spending priorities. Public forums are scheduled across the country between now and the end of November.
This is a vital step in bringing greater accountability of resources down to the local level. This consultative process offers people in previously marginalised regions and sectors the chance to speak up. ...Read More
|»||Mobile technology can pull Africa forward|
Author: BENJAMIN BRADLEY
Date: 27 Oct 11
When I walked into my first African slum this August, it wasn't the tin shanties or the children playing around smoldering piles of waste that surprised me. It was the towering Masaai warrior texting on his cell phone -- punching away at those tiny buttons with precision that would put American teenagers to shame.
Mobile technology has sprouted in nearly every corner of Africa. Cell phones are like digital cockroaches -- in even the harshest conditions, such as impoverished Chad or war-torn Somalia, mobile markets are growing. Between 2003 and 2008, Africa experienced the world's fastest growth in mobile subscribers.
Yet, Africa is struggling. Since the 1970s, Western aid has increasingly turned its focus toward social welfare services, alleviating short-term problems but not supplying Africans with the resources they need to function independently. ...Read More
|»||Kenya: Cashew nuts boom expected|
Author: George Omondi
Date: 26 Oct 11
Farmers in Coast province are expecting a bumper harvest of cashew nuts this season due to high rainfall and use of proper crop husbandry following improved farm gate prices last season. The processors, through the Nut Processors Association of Kenya (NutPAK), the Ministry of Agriculture and the Cashew Nuts Growers Association, constituted a committee last year to regulate farm gate prices. This, according to Mr Charles Muigai, NutPAK chief executive officer, has contributed to the improved production. "We anticipate better results this season. The rains have been good in the past three months. Farmers sprayed and pruned their trees well," said Mr David Njuguna, secretary of the Lake Kenyatta Co-operative Society in Lamu, who is also a member of the committee. Last season, a minimum farm gate price of Sh35 per kilo was agreed upon but due to a drop in production that saw a low of only 8,000 tonnes, the prices rose to Sh68 by the close of the season (November to April). The committee will meet next month to set the minimum price for this season. Mr Njuguna said expectations are high that farmers will receive better prices. ...Read More
|»||Agriculture Ministry Expecting High Yields|
Author: Kirimi Murithi
Date: 25 Oct 11
The Ministry of Agriculture has predicted that the country will have sufficient food for the next two years from the next harvesting season. According to the PS Romano Kiome, 75 per cent of farmers have planted and expect a large harvest. ...Read More
|»||World Bank: Kenya to miss its economic target|
Author: Jevans Nyabiage
Date: 24 Oct 11
Kenya’s 2011 economy performance will remain below the projected five per cent as market shocks take a toll , the World Bank has said.
High food and fuel prices throughout the year have tumbled the macroeconomic fundamentals, resulting in higher inflation and a declining exchange rate.
"In 2011, Kenya is navigating through a number of shocks – drought, higher food and fuel prices, electricity shortages, weak shilling and soaring inflation – all having the potential to choke growth rate to below five per cent," said Wolfgang Fengler, lead economist, at the World Bank, Kenya office. ...Read More
|»||Kenya retains higher import quota of tax-free sugar|
Author: ALLAN ODHIAMBO
Date: 21 Oct 11
Kenya will retain the current enlarged import quota of duty-free sugar from the Africa’s largest market as part of a deal that saw the country granted a two-year extension to fully liberalise its sugar sector.
The lowly 10 per cent duty presently charged on consignments outside the 340,000 tonnes special quota from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) will also be continued as a strategy to wean the local sugar industry to competition. ...Read More
|»||Kenya: Higher Prices Lure Rift Valley Farmers to Coffee|
Author: George Omondi
Date: 19 Oct 11
Coffee farming is taking root in some parts of the Rift Valley province, offering hope of higher output at a time when traditional growing areas in Central Kenya are being encroached on by real-estate developers.
The farmers in areas like Mt Elgon, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia and Bomet are shifting to coffee farming in pursuit of higher prices in international markets.
The interest has seen a new coffee mill--CMS Limited-- opened in Eldoret while another is planned for Kericho ...Read More
|»||Agribusiness Remains Unattractive To Kenya’s Youth|
Author: Bedah Mengo
Date: 17 Oct 11
Kenya is grappling with food insecurity challenges that have led to increased food imports from the neighbouring countries. Interestingly, the imports have partly been blamed for the country’s weakening currency that has caused high inflation rates. But the irony of Kenya’s food insufficiency plight is that its economy is agriculturally based and the country has vast arable land and good weather that can sustain agricultural activities. The East African nation enjoys a bi-modal distribution of rainfall. Long rains occur between March and April and short rains in October and November.