Agriculture is a key player towards the growth of Kenya’s economy. It contributes to approximately 25 per cent of the gross domestic product and contributes to 65 per cent of our national exports.
The sector is leading in job creation and employment. It creates around 18 percent of the formal employments and 70 percent in the informal sector.Generally, the sector is depended by more than 70 per cent of Kenyans to sustain their lives, in rural areas and cities as well. Despite this importance, the production of agricultural produce has remained stagnant for many years.
The country has not been able to match the rising population with enough food supply, leaving many people starving. To enjoy the full benefits of agriculture, there needs strategies laid down to exploit the green economy. A research should be rolled out to dig in to details of the pressing challenges facing our farmers and the entire sector. A section of farm.PHOTO|COURTESY
Most of the agricultural produce is lost owing to poor farming methods, poor post-harvest handling methods and processing methods. There is low levels of mechanization barring farmers from expanding their farms. Mechanization of agriculture has the potential of revolutionizing the sector in terms of quality and quantity. Introduction of machines will save the dying backbone of the country. On top of the increased food produce and increased land utility, application of technology in our farms will bring about timely land preparation. It will also drag the youth back to the remote areas to venture in the sector since most of them run away from its cumbersomeness. Agriculture has been left for the rural population most of whom are mothers and children.There is also lack of information among many Kenyans on the available technology. In Kenya there are integrated programmes which provide technological support to farmers at affordable prices such like Tinga rental stores which offers training support to smallholder farmers, farmer groups and agribusiness. The team of agriculturists have been working with local farmers to help them transition from subsistence model to small-scale commercial models. They also facilitate access to appropriate agricultural machinery and services like mowing, bailing, raking, chiselling, harrowing and planting of wheat, sorghum, maize and potatoes as well as spraying. For the last 6 months, TingA has trained more than 2,500 farmers across the country and ploughed more than 6,000 acres of land. The store has an online platform, TingA App available in Play store, from where a farmer can access all their services at their convenience. They have branches in Naivasha, Narok, Kisumu and Nairobi. In Rabour and Ahero in Kisumu, they have boosted the farming of sorghum of more than 300 farmers who supply their produce to the East African Malting Limited tapping the market. There is still a rising demand of sorghum in the region as the malting firm targets to increase their production of local brews.