Lobby presses for higher budgetary allocation to agriculture

Maize harvesting at Kaptuli farm in Uasin Gishu. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

A lobby representing agriculture industry players has called for higher budgetary allocations for the sector, stating that the allocations contained in the current Finance Bill fall far below the optimal level set in continental agreements that Kenya is a signatory to.

Through the Agriculture Sector Network (Asnet), experts pointed out that the figures released by the Treasury for 2024-2025 financials cut the sector allocation by 18.6 per cent to Sh79.8 billion from Sh98 billion compared to the current financial year.

Speaking during a stakeholder conference in Nairobi last week that included the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, and Treasury officials, ASNET Chief Executive Agatha Thuo explained that the estimates made significant cuts in the State Departments for Agriculture and Livestock budgets.

“The allocation for livestock dropped by 19.4 per cent, from Sh14.9 billion to Sh10.5 billion; fisheries by 3.8 per cent from Sh11.8 billion to 11.3 billion, agriculture by 20.9 per cent from Sh60.4 billion to Sh47.7 billion and Lands and the National Land Commission by 6.6 per cent - from Sh10.8 billion to Sh10.1 billion,” she noted.

Egerton University’s Tegemeo Institute agricultural expert Timothy Njagi said the proposed budgetary allocation for the agriculture sector is still a far cry from the 10 per cent threshold mandated by the Malabo Protocol.

Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Parliamentary Committee Chairman John Mutunga said he would present the recommendations to the Budget and Appropriations Committee and push for their adoption.

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