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Kenya’s farmers urged to increase competitiveness

A high-level meeting of agricultural delegates in Kenya has recommended Kenyan farmers to increase their competitiveness in order to beat the poverty trap

The Agricultural Sector Development Forum, held in Nairobi on 14-17 October 2012, focussed on poverty prevention due to the fact subsistence and semi-subsistence farmers account for the majority of growers in Africa.

Participants at the meeting were told that there was a necessity to increase competitiveness among farmers to get better yields and to ensure better quality produce.

Projections by the World Bank expect Kenya to experience 4.8 per cent economic growth resulting in high demand for value added products such as processed food.

The meeting also addressed the need to educate farmers on managing their produce such as timely harvesting, post-harvest management and quality control and spending in secure storage facilities such as cold storage for perishables to reduce losses. 

Kenya's Vision 2030 has set out agriculture as one of the key sectors to deliver the 10 per cent annual economic growth rate envisaged under the economic pillar, which encourages farmers, government and private players to work together. 

Laws to facilitate partnerships between the government and private players are already in place and they only need implementation, said James Mwangi, the chief executive of Equity Bank.