Posted on March, 20, 2019 at 09:51 am
By Regina Manyara-Gitau
The government is targeting to increase maize production from 40 to 67 million bags, quad ripple rice production to 406,486 metric tones and increase potato production five times to 6 million metric tonnes by the year 2022.
This is according to the latest draft 2019 budget policy statement that indicates that the government has earmarked 1.4 billion shillings to increase strategic food reserves to 8 million bags within five years.
With some residents in 12 counties facing starvation owing to prolonged dry weather, the government targets to, develop 85,000 acres of irrigation area under National Expanded Irrigation programme; increase area under smallholder irrigation by 1,617 acres and increase water storage for irrigation by 125 million cubic metres through development of water pans under household irrigation water harvesting project to bridge the gap between production and consumption.
The draft 2019 budget policy statement says a Multi-Institutional Technical Team would be established to provide technical support in eradicating Fall Armyworms that threatened food security by attacking the maize crop.
On the other hand, to boost rice production, the Government plans to expand the Mwea Irrigation Scheme by 10,000 acres through construction of dams and improving roads and other infrastructure in the area.
The draft budget policy statement says the government plans to upscale crop and livestock insurance with the goal of cushioning farmers against climate related risks.
This is expected to contribute to stabilization of farmers’ incomes, increase investment in agriculture through leveraged access to finance and enhanced farmers’ risk mitigation.
In addition, the Government plans to procure and install 120 milk coolers across the country, promote diversification of livestock products and establish 36 feed lots in efforts to improve value addition and marketing.
The interventions in agriculture are expected to create 1,000 production SMEs as well as 600,000 direct and indirect jobs.