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Kenya, AFDB sign 62.3 mln USD deal to boost agriculture

05 February 2016, 20:52

Nairobi - Kenya and the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Thursday signed a 62.3 million U.S. dollar agreement aimed at boosting Kenya's agricultural sector.

Cabinet Secretary in the National Treasury Henry Rotich told journalists in Nairobi that the financial support consists of a loan of 39.5 million dollars and a grant of 22.8 million dollars.

"The funds will be utilized under the Small Scale Irrigation and Value Addition Project (SIVAP) that is being implemented in 11 counties in the arid and semi-arid areas," Rotich said.

The CS said Kenya's agricultural productivity is constrained as a result of over dependence on rain fed agriculture.

Rotich said the SIVAP will be the first project to benefit from the AfDB window of commercial loans after Kenya attained eligibility.

He said the funds will be used to develop 12 irrigation schemes covering 2,905 hectares and an additional 300 hectares under 60 micro irrigation schemes, adding that the project aims at improving food security as well as increasing household income in the target areas.

Also read: Inquest starts into murder of British artist in Kenya

AfDB Regional Director for the East Africa Resource Centre Gabriel Negatu said the funds will be used to boost Kenya's future food supply.

Negatu said the average rural household incomes of the beneficiaries are also expected to increase as a result of the funding.

SIVAP is AfDB's third funded project in Kenya supporting irrigation after the Small Scale Horticulture Development Project (SHDP) and the Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihood Program.

Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Willy Bett said the SIVAP will be implemented over a period of six years from 2016 to 2021.

"When fully implemented, it will benefit approximately 10,000 households in the project areas," Bett said.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization will provide technical support to SIVAP in order to ensure that the envisaged outcomes are achieved.


- Xinhua


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