Challenges facing Kenya’s agricultural sector

The following are challenges facing Kenya’s agricultural sector.

  • The 1984 drought and famine in various parts of the country occasioning supply of relief food to the affected regions.
  • Rapid increase in population which is not at pace with the rate of increase in agricultural production.
  • From the late 1970s, the world market prices of agricultural commodities fell drastically yet the inputs remained expensive.
  • Corruption and mismanagement of the cooperatives leading to meager earnings for key cash crops in Kenya.
  • Grabbing of research land by corrupt government officials has affected the operations of the research institutes.
  • The problem of poor infrastructure in the country sometimes discourages farmers especially during the rainy season.
  •  Ethnic clashes in Molo in 1991-1992, Likoni in 1997 and Mahi Mahiu in 2005 plus the post election violence in 2008 discouraged farmers from intense farming due to insecurity.
  • Poor technology hassled to low yields. People in Kenya still rely on natural rains for agriculture instead of using irrigation. Others use primitive traditional tools in cultivation.
  • The problem of pests that destroy the farm yields before reaching the factory.
  • Competition from COMESA member states and from the more industrialized powers such as the European Union and USA often frustrate Kenyan farmers.

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