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
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.