Albert is an experienced columnist who sees things in a different dimension. His well-researched content never disappoints, enjoy.
What agriculture can help a nation accomplish
Agriculture is the cultivation of crops and rearing of animals, both for economic and domestic purposes. The agricultural sector of an economy is exceptionally the most important sector of the economy in many countries, it handles the major aspect vital to human existence. Through agriculture, the three necessities of life – food, clothing and shelter – are made available to man. It was the first occupation of man and is still helping in the sustenance of life. No wonder, wise countries do not joke with their agricultural sector.
China has been able to shrink its poverty level from 99.7% in 1978 to 4.7% by 2018! As of now, China is on the verge of completely eradicating poverty. 850 million people have been pulled out of this menace (poverty), this is obviously a historic contribution to humanity's poverty reduction efforts. In fact, China is the first country to achieve the United Nations Millenium Development Goal of poverty reduction 10 years ahead of the 2030 target. But what lessons can African states learn from this nation that has amassed so much international recognition in its economic growth? Let's take a look at some key lessons in agricultural development.
China has been able to shrink its poverty level from 99.7% in 1978 to 4.7% by 2018!
The importance of political good will in agricultural development
China's success is a result of political goodwill. Since the adoption of the " reform and opening up" policy in 1978, China has had seven presidents who have embraced the policy wholeheartedly. Chinese philosopher and politician, Confucius once noted " In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." Drawing the rich China philosophy that has culminated in present-day China.
This got me thinking about Kenya. A country of ten millionaires and ten million poor people. A country that every so-called development project has smiling faces of our hungry politicians minting from the project. Each government comes in with a policy that will allow it to embezzle public funds. The recent " big four agenda" has become a source of ridicule in the country. Failing to be implemented, manifestos in Kenya are political promises to woo Kenyans to vote for leaders. Otherwise, can someone explain to me what happened to the 5 state-of-the-art stadia in the country to support the sports industry?
Investing in agriculture is necessary if we are to reap more from it
The issues being canvassed here are not new, they need constant repeating until sense is pumped into leaders. Investing more in agricultural value is vital. We need to ensure that farming is done in a sustainable manner.
We need to adopt policies that seek to resolve the agriculture downfall in a country endowed with a good farming climate and soil. The Malabo 2014 agreement needs to be implemented in Kenya, in agreement African states (Kenya included) agreed to commit at least 10% of their national budgets to agriculture. Ironically two decades later, nothing has been met, same government, same leader.
Farmers must be assured of better prices for their outputs, we need available markets for their produce, the government should give incentives to farmers to boost this ailing sector.
Globally governments play a key role with technical support, incidents like locust invasion, armyworm invasion are too complex to be handled by farmers, they demand quick solutions from the state, lest they will reduce or completely undermine harvests
The Malabo 2014 agreement needs to be implemented in Kenya, in agreement African states (Kenya included) agreed to commit at least 10% of their national budgets to agriculture.
Bad politics frustrate agriculture growth
There was a time when Kenya's agricultural success was worth emulating, there was a time the children of farmers used to school in the best institutions. But, gone are those days.
Today coffee farmers feel the pinch of poor leadership, the pinch of having political appointments in a docket that requires qualified persons. Kenya Creameries Cooperation (KCC) has not been spared by the poor leadership wave, it has hit harder in the company. Today, "miraa" farming requires executive intervention or it will seriously fall on its knees.
There is a truth few of us want to say, there is a fact we are missing from our data. Ethnicity and agriculture don't go along, Tea and milk are deemed to be Rift Valley crops, while Cofee and "miraa" are Central Kenya crops, even our leaders know it.
Bad politics will never help Kenya's agriculture sector I conclude.
Ethnicity and agriculture don't go along
Feleke on August 19, 2021:
Very educative. Yeah kuddos