Kenya is planning to increase its agricultural output by an estimated $4 billion (Ksh400 billion) in less than two years. Kenya’s Deputy President, William Ruto made the announcement at the just concluded Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), in Kigali, Rwanda.
Ruto’s statement comes at a time when the East African nation currently has a GDP of $85.98 billion making it the 69th largest economy in the world. Kenya also boasts the largest, most diversified economy in East Africa with agriculture being central to the country’s development strategy.
The sector accounts for about 25% of the country’s annual GDP and 70% of the workforce, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the nation’s leading record keeper. The country’s major agricultural exports include tea, coffee, cut flowers, and vegetables. Kenya is the world’s leading exporter of black tea and cut-flowers.
Now Kenya has made a renewed push to further develop the lucrative industry.
“By 2022, we will have increased national agriculture output by Ksh400 billion and impacted three million smallholder farmers by driving productivity, value addition and agro-processing to accelerate food security,” Ruto said.
Speaking at the Forum, he argued that Africa must eliminate hindrances and restrictive barriers in order to boost trade activity.
The high profile event was graced by the likes of Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame; President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; Prime Minister of Gabon, Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet and former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
The three, along with Deputy President Ruto and many others, were present during a Heads of State and Government Panel at the event.
“We require the free movement of people, removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers to stimulate intra-African trade and seize the opportunity presented by emerging markets,” Ruto explained.
The African Green Revolution Forum is a platform for global and African leaders to develop actionable plans that will move African agriculture forward.
The 2018 edition of the affair has dedicated political and policy leadership from African governments. The event showcased the leadership of up to 5 Heads of State and more than 15 ministers. At the Forum, they served as champions for the rest of the continent with their insights on lessons learned and progress made in agricultural transformation efforts around Africa.
The event was also used as a platform to garner political and financial support from development partners and the private sector in order to boost agriculture sector growth across the continent.