Kenya

Yawning food gap looms amid poor agriculture funding

In Summary

The study found that while some counties allocated reasonable funds to agriculture in 2013/14 financial year, others did not provide any finances despite its importance in ensuring food security and creating employment.

By Nation Correspondent

Inadequate allocation of resources to agriculture by county governments has put the country at risk of plunging into a food crisis, an institute has warned.

A study conducted by the Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, a policy research institute at Egerton University, said under-funding could water down the national government bid to increase Kenya’s food output.

“The findings indicate that although county governments have allocated a considerable proportion of their expenditure to development, the share allocated to the agricultural sector is low, ranging from 0 to 24 per cent. This puts at risk ongoing programmes in the sector and may potentially slow down the growth momentum experienced in the sector,” said Dr Timothy Njagi, a research fellow at the institute.

The study found that while some counties allocated reasonable funds to agriculture in 2013/14 financial year, others did not provide any finances despite its importance in ensuring food security and creating employment.

Most at risk of under-funding are on-going programmes initiated by the ministries before the transition to devolved units thus exposing them to higher costs, delayed returns, and risk of being abandoned in the short run.

“The implication is that under-funding of the sector is likely to have negative impact on the growth momentum the sector has experienced. The institute recommends increasing allocation under the revised budgets and prioritisation of the agricultural sector in the county governments medium term plans,” said the study.