Kenya's agriculture sector is experiencing a notable transformation, thanks to the injection of $450 million (Sh67.7 billion) by the World Bank, aimed at supporting reforms in the agricultural landscape.

Agriculture and Livestock Development Cabinet Secretary, Mithika Linturi, expressed optimism yesterday about the significant progress witnessed as a result of strategic investments from the Bretton Woods institution.

Linturi highlighted the impact of initiatives like the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NAGRIP) and the Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP), emphasizing their role in reshaping the sector's dynamics and ensuring sustainability.

"This means there has been 100 per cent absorption from our end," Linturi stated, attributing the success to collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Agriculture, the Council of Governors (CoG), and the World Bank.

Addressing the Joint Review Meeting for County Executive Committee members (CECMs) in Mombasa, Linturi revealed, "Out of these projects, we have been able to touch the lives of 1.5 million farmers directly."

He also announced the World Bank's commitment to inject another $450 million into new projects aimed at enhancing food and nutritional security, with a target of involving over five million farmers.

Despite the achievements, Principal Secretary Paul Rono acknowledged challenges, including inaccurate farmer registration data leading to discrepancies in input distribution.

"We have had a challenge on registration of farmers. Some farmers complain that they have received less than they requested. However, the distribution is done based on the data on the register," Rono explained, citing instances where farmers provided inaccurate information due to concerns about its use by the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Rono urged governors to assist in identifying suitable storage facilities to address distance concerns between farmers and distribution points, emphasizing the need to minimize wastages and ensure tangible impacts on Kenyans.

"Stop a lot of capacity building and purchasing of big vehicles. Let a large chunk of money be felt by Kenyans," Rono emphasized.

Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka, Chair of the Agriculture Committee in CoG, attested to the positive impact, citing transformations witnessed in 45 counties. 

Vice Chair of CoG, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, while commending the World Bank projects, stressed the need for increased county government funding towards agriculture.

Kahiga noted the current reliance on external funding, stating, "80 percent of the Agriculture funding comes from the World Bank which is unsustainable."

He emphasized the importance of domestic resource mobilization for the sector's long-term sustainability.

The significant strides made in Kenya's agriculture sector underscore the transformative power of strategic investments, signaling a promising future for the nation's food security and economic development.

Moving forward, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, the Council of Governors, and the World Bank are committed to addressing challenges and scaling up their collaboration to ensure the continued transformation of Kenyan agriculture, impacting millions more lives and enhancing national food security.