Govt procuring tractors worth 5billlion for agricultural counties
24 November 2014, 19:01
Nairobi – The Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary, Felix Koskei has said the government is in process of procuring tractors worth KES 5 billion from Brazil to increase food production, particularly targeting small scale farmers.
Koskei said the procurement of farm machinery is in line with the ministry’s anticipated National Agricultural Mechanization Policy developed in 1990s to substitute the traditional human and animal labor to strengthen the agriculture sector.
“The procurement of tractors and equipment is based on Government of Brazil International Programme for More Food on South to South cooperation which is a commodity loan programme where it provides funds to African countries to procure machinery for the More Food Programme,” said Koskei.
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He said the ministry is in consultation with relevant authorities to determine the level of machinery subsidy for tractors to be procured sold to counties at subsidized price although Koskei stated that the project targets agricultural regions.
“Distribution of these farm tractors will cover the whole country and criteria will mainly be on agricultural productivity and potential for agriculture development. The procurement is almost done and we are waiting upon the Treasury to release money,” said Koskei.
The Cabinet Secretary also said the ministry is engaging relevant authority to formalize the Line of Credit worth USD 80 million the Brazilian government agreed to offer Kenya for procurement of tractors and implements.
In 1990s, the Agriculture ministry developed the National Mechanization Strategy (NAMS) that has guided the ministry in implementing mechanization programmes and projects to enhance productivity in conjunction with other relevant laws, policies and strategy papers.
The government developed the Strengthening Mechanization Project in 2009/2010, in addition to NAMS where at the design stage incorporated farm tractor and implements, earthmoving plants and equipment to enhance the capacity for farmers to improve productivity by observing soil conservation and water. The estimated project cost at the stage was KES 9.2 billion.
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