US to Improve Farm Produce with Sh11.5bn

Outgoing US ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec tastes tea at the East Africa Tea Association offices on February 27. PHOTO | Laban Walloga. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The United States has divulged a Sh11.5 billion programme to help Kenyan farmers by offering them innovations and technologies in dairy, livestock, root and drought-tolerant crops.

Dubbed Feed the Future Kenya Country Plan under the US Global Food Security Strategy, the program expects to diminish poverty and enhance the capacity of local farmers and pastoralists to adapt to financial stuns, such as, drought and subsequently help their incomes and nutrition status.

While commenting during the launch of the programme in Nairobi, departing US ambassador to Kenya; Robert Godec said the programme would focus on promoting long-term sustainable development that would help communities resist the shocks that are brought on by drought and other natural disasters.

“Together, we have reached nearly 900,000 Kenyan farmers,” said Mr Godec.

“We helped them grow better crops and increase milk production, and then get those products to market.  All told, working with partners we leveraged over Sh22 billion in new assistance to the agriculture sector.”

Kenya is one of 12 countries that had earlier been selected as the focus of the second phase of the American initiative to combat food insecurity.

Kenya was in the first phase of the “Feed the Future” programme which was launched in 2009.

Under the initiative, USAid reports that 1.1 million farmers used new technologies for the first time in 2016.

Globally, Feed the Future says it has facilitated Sh278 billion ($2.7 billion) in agricultural loans.

The Americans also say that the plan has increased US exports to partner states by Sh103 billion ($1 billion).

Other African countries targeted for the second phase of the programme are Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda.

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