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Kenya to develop preferential scheme for small-scale farmers    

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenya is developing a preferential scheme for small scale farmers in order to boost their incomes, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

The Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Willy Bett told journalists in Nairobi that when the scheme is fully operational it will require that every public procuring entity to ensure that at last 30 percent of its procurement value every financial year is allocated to smallholder farmers.

“This scheme will transform the incomes of small scale farmers given that national and county governments procure food items worth over 150 million U.S. dollars annually,” Bett said during a workshop on strengthening smallholder farmers’ production.

Currently, small scale farmers are not recognized by public procurement law as they are not organized as legal entities. A multi-sectoral taskforce is currently finalizing the development of the scheme.

“We will then present the draft scheme to Cabinet for review and approval,” Bett said.

He added that implementation of the scheme should begin early next year.

Data from ministry of agriculture indicates that small holder farmers account for 75 percent of the total agricultural output and 70 percent of all marketed agricultural produce in the country.

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Willy Bett ®, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and Gabriel Rugalema, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), representative in Kenya exchange signed agreement documents in Nairobi, March 15, 2017. The Food and Agriculture Organization will provide emergency support to approximately 200 small holder agro-pastoral households to improve water access of up to 10,000 breeding stock through the installation of 30 community water tanks in Isiolo and Marsabit Counties. FAO will also deliver about 294.2 tones of animal feed and 196 tones of high-fibre ranch cubes. XINHUA PHOTO: CHARLES ONYANGO

The CS said that despite the significance of small scale farmers to the economy, their earnings remain very low.

Bett said that low productivity levels in agriculture  is attributed to a number of factors including high cost of inputs, poor husbandry practices as well as over-dependence on rain fed agriculture.



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