Women play 'key role' in Kenya's agricultural growth
10 December 2013, 14:54
Nairobi - Action Aid Kenya and Institute of Economic
Affairs, which have launched a report on agricultural financing, have called
upon the government to support women and increase finance for farming extension
services in order to achieve vision 2030.
Speaking during the launch of the report on agricultural financing, the Chief
Executive Officer for Institute of Economic Affairs, John Mutua, said women
played a key role in food production.
According to him, women accounted for 75 percent of labour force in smallholder
agriculture and manage 40 percent of small farms and played a major role in
food preparation and storage and therefore the need to focus on increasing
finance accessible to them.
“Over 80 percent of the population live in rural areas and derive their
livelihood from agriculture and pastoralism and women are at the center of the
production process,” said Mutua.
Philip Kilonzo, the Action Aid executive, said that county government budgets
for the 2013/2014 financial year did not allocate any funds for women, except
Embu County, which made an allocation to women and youth.
The report, he said, examined the quality and targeting of government spending
on agriculture in relation to the needs of smallholder farmers, especially
While the report calls on the government to increase funding for agriculture,
it insists that quality of spending should also be improved.
It adds that increased budgetary allocation, without quality in actual spending
means poor results.
The report states the importance of agricultural extension services and
“In Africa, Kenya is amongst the high spenders on extension services with about
25 percent of agriculture budget and about 15 percent to agricultural research
in the financial year 2011/12,” said Mutua.
He added that strong positive correlation between investments in Agriculture
Research and development and productivity such that for every million shillings
spent on Agricultural Research and Development and extension services combined,
an additional 103 people could be lifted above the poverty line.
– CAJ News