Kenya is set to benefit through a new partnership with the European Union to bolster food production and help achieve food and nutrition security. This is as latest government data shows that the agriculture sector is now contributing less than one-fifth of Kenya’s economic growth following four consecutive quarters of decline.
The EU has pledged to support agricultural productivity by supporting the government’s initiatives on food security and also by extending support to local small-scale farmers to improve their incomes and food production.
“Our main mission is to support the Kenyan government’s plans to achieve food security. We want to take youth to the farms by empowering them through capacity building, and mechanization technology to improve food productivity,” Henriette Geiger, the Ambassador of the EU to Kenya while meeting Agriculture and Livestock Development Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi at his Kilimo House office.
The ambassador said the EU is keen to partner with the ministry in order to improve the competitiveness and diversity of agricultural market systems and livelihoods. Linturi welcomed the new partnership with the EU Commission which he said will help the Kenyan government plans to end food insecurity.
“I’m excited with the pledge by the EU delegation to support the ministry achieve a food and nutrition secure Kenya through technical and financial aid to our ambitious plans to modernize and transform Agriculture,” he added.
The agricultural sector is the backbone of the economy. Consecutive failed rainy seasons have however made production in the sector to contract significantly.
Data from the third quarter gross domestic product report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows the sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was cut to 19.9 percent from 23.4 percent in the quarter to March.
Across the same period, the sector contracted by 0.7. 1.4 and 0.6 percent respectively in the first three quarters of 2022, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of contraction or an equivalent year of decline from September 2021.
The sector last contributed less than one-fifth of GDP in the quarter that ended September 2021 or an equivalent 19.8 percent of GDP.