He allocated 105 million dollars to cater for social housing and
construction of affordable housing units, including housing
Units for the Police and Kenya Prison.
He revealed that with
the recent establishment of the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company
(KMRC), Kenyans will now access affordable mortgage loans for
purposes of acquiring homes.
Rotich said that in order to enhance food and nutrition
security and support farmers, government is reforming its
agricultural policies and regulations as well as subsidies to
farmers with a view to make them efficient and less prone to
The 2019/20 budget also sets aside 20 million dollars for the
National Value Chain Support Programme and 30 million dollars
for setting up the Coffee Cherry Revolving Fund to implement
prioritized reforms in the coffee sub-sector.
"In the coming financial year, coffee farmers across the
country will be able to access the Cherry Advance at a modest
interest rate of 3 percent," Rotich added.
Kenyan economy forecast to
grow 6.3 percent in 2019
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s economy is projected to grow by 6.3 percent in 2019, the
same level as 2018, a government official said Thursday.
Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury Henry Rotich said
that the economy continues to be resilient in the midst of
significant global and domestic headwinds.
"We project growth in 2019 to remain strong at around the
same level as in 2018.
"While there are risks associated with delayed long rains
which may impact negatively on agriculture, we expect such risks
to be offset by continued strong performance in non-agricultural
activities such as tourism and construction," Rotich said in the
2019/ 2020 Budget speech.
He said that in 2018, the economy grew by 6.3 percent, up
from 4.9 percent in the previous year.
"This growth is the highest to have been recorded for the
past eight years and well above the sub Saharan Africa regional
average growth of 3 percent and the global average of 3.6
percent, reinforcing the advantages of a diversified and
reforming economy," said Rotich.
"This strong growth was attained despite the rising global
trade frictions among major trading partners as well as
uncertainties from Brexit and renewed geopolitical risks," he
Rotich said that over the medium term, Kenya’s economic
growth is expected to reach more than 7 percent as programmed
activities under Kenya’s Big Four agenda on universal
healthcare, manufacturing, food security and affordable housing
He assured Kenyans that the new budget is going to support
and address local business environment.
This, however, is the biggest budget the country has had
Rotich added that locals should not be worried about the
borrowing as long as the government is not using the borrowed
money to fund recurrent expenditure.
European Investment Bank
launches project to transform agriculture in Kenya
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
European Investment Bank (EIB) on Wednesday
launched a 5.7 billon shillings (57 million U.S. dollars)
program to help boost economic opportunities for thousands of
small holders across Kenya.
Catherine Collin, European Investment Bank regional
representative for East Africa said the Kenya Agriculture Value
Chain Facility will seek to transform long-term investments in
agriculture in Africa.
"Working with Equity Bank across country, the new Kenya
Agriculture Value Chain Facility will help agriculture companies
to modernize and harness the full economic, employment and
export potential of agriculture as well as expand business with
local smallholders," Collin said in Nairobi.
Under the new financing program, agricultural companies
across Kenya will be able to access loans with maturities of up
to seven years, longer than commonly available in the market.
This, the EIB said, is expected to help companies to expand,
upgrade and modernize their equipment thereby improving
productivity, and strengthening integration of smallholders into
the agricultural value chain.
Collin said the new initiative represents the first dedicated
support for long-term investment by agriculture companies in
Africa backed by the EIB designed to tackle specific investment
gaps currently hindering expansion in the sector.
She said the EIB will strengthen its close cooperation with
Kenyan partners to ensure that agricultural investment can
increase under an exciting new scheme that acts as a model for
EIB engagement across Africa.
Equity Bank is one of the key financial institutions
supporting the agricultural sector in Kenya and is a leading
provider of financial services to rural communities and
Polycarp Igathe, Equity Bank Kenya Managing Director said the
bank has aligned its strategy with Kenya’s development agenda to
focus on growing the agribusiness portfolio through servicing
all segments from retail, to SME to large enterprises and
corporate banking customers.
He said the new agriculture financing initiative will address
the gap of long-term funding in the sector identified as a key
barrier to growth.
Agriculture which is the leading source of economic activity,
employment and exports in Kenya contributes directly and
indirectly to 51 percent of Kenyan GDP and accounts for 60
percent of jobs in the country, according to government