African farm­ers to get Sh3tn pledges, Uhuru to give Sh20bn

The state, multi­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions and donors will give money to en­sure ac­cess to bet­ter seeds, loans, mar­ket and mod­ern equip­ment to en­sure good re­turns

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Ministries - JOHN MUCHANGI @jo­munji

Small-scale Kenyan farm­ers and lo­cal tech­nol­ogy en­trepreneurs will ben­e­fit greatly from the Sh3 tril­lion ($30 bil­lion) par­ties have pledged to spend on agri­cul­ture in Africa over 10 years.

The pledges at the African Green Rev­o­lu­tion Fo­rum in Nairobi are the largest pack­age of fi­nan­cial com­mit­ments to the African agri­cul­tural sec­tor.

They in­clude Sh20 bil­lion that Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta promised to spend on agri­cul­ture in the next five years, above the an­nual bud­get al­lo­ca­tion to the sec­tor.

“This will ben­e­fit 150,000 farm­ers and en­trepreneurs with ac­cess to bet­ter seeds, loans, farm­ing ma­chin­ery and mar­ket,” Uhuru said.

The KCB Group also pledged to spend Sh35 bil­lion over the next five years, mostly as low-cost loans to farm­ers in East Africa.

The rest of the pledges came from multi­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions and donors.

The African De­vel­op­ment Bank com­mit­ted to spend Sh2.4 tril­lion ($24 bil­lion) over 10 years to drive agri­cul­tural trans­for­ma­tion.

AfDB pres­i­dent Ak­in­wumi Adesina said they will fund tech­nolo­gies that help farm­ers. “Now is the time to come to the aid of our long-suf­fer­ing farm­ers and give them the mod­ern agri­cul­ture tech­nolo­gies they need to en­sure a good re­turn for their labour and hard work,” he said.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion will spend at least Sh500 bil­lion ($5 bil­lion) in Africa over the next five years. At least Sh100 bil­lion ($1 bil­lion) will go to agri­cul­ture.

The Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion pledged Sh18 bil­lion ($180 mil­lion) over the next 10 years.

World Food Pro­gramme said it will spend Sh12 bil­lion ($120 mil­lion) to buy agri­cul­tural prod­ucts from small­holder farm­ers ev­ery year.

WFP ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Ertharin Cousin said they would start buy­ing from Kenyan farm­ers next year.

An­other Sh15 bil­lion ($150 mil­lion) from OCP Africa will sup­port fer­tiliser dis­tri­bu­tion, stor­age and blend­ing in Africa in the next five years.

OCP boss Tarik Choho said they would also build fer­tiliser plants in five coun­tries for Sh100 bil­lion ($1 bil­lion).

Other donors are the In­ter­na­tional Fund for Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment and Yara In­ter­na­tional ASA, which has been in­volved in African agri­cul­ture for more than 50 years. The week-long AGRF ends to­day. The AGRF is a plat­form for global and African lead­ers to de­velop ac­tion­able plans that will move African agri­cul­ture for­ward.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.