Saturday, April 13, 2024

Win for agricultural sector as Ministry announces two-day forum to streamline financing

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rootooba have announced a two-day forum aimed at curbing the looming severe food insecurity in the country.

The forum-themed Financing Agriculture Sustainably Conference (FINAS2024) will be held on the 27th and 28th of March 2024.

”In a bid to curb the looming severe food insecurity in Kenya and help reduce inflation on food stuff, the allied organizations will seek to rally  sector players including financial institutions, Agribusiness stakeholders  and government to re-look funding options and investment to the Agricultural sector and position Kenya for resilient Agricultural Enterprises.’’

Despite being the largest sector in terms of GDP contribution, agriculture loans and investments portfolios currently are disproportionately low compared to the agriculture sector’s share of GDP.

According to the Financial Access Household Survey 2019 formal borrowing to service agriculture is used by around 3.2% of Kenyans.

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This has created a gap that has resulted in the mushrooming of informal financing mechanisms that lack the capacity, quality, and quantity to respond to the needs.

Alternative income sources, social networks, and sale of assets have been sub-optimal alternatives for raising the much-needed capital for investing in the sector.

Speaking during the announcement of Finas 2024, Mary Mwiti, CEO of the Council of Governors underscored the challenges the agricultural sector is facing including insufficient financing despite being the backbone of Kenya’s prosperity and a source of livelihood for millions of Kenyans.

“We need to see how to invest and transform Kenya’s large and fertile land into a thriving agricultural ecosystem running efficiently and profitably to benefit not only farmers but also our economy as a whole.

This conference will be the right place to do just that” said Dr. Paul Rono, PS state Department of Agriculture during the announcement breakfast.

Key players supporting the conference include GIZ, FSD-Kenya, AGRA, the Fertilizer Association of Kenya (FAK), and the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), among others.

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