PGEO 331

a) Discuss the Agricultural reforms in Kenya after Independence
The Government has instituted a number of reforms to improve the sector’s efficiency and
production. These include legal reforms in which some 130 laws were consolidated. This process
is expected to encourage investment. Revitalization of agriculture, which was the focal point of
the Agricultural Sector Development Conference of 2008, has largely been achieved. The launch
of the Agriculture Sector Development Strategy(ASDS) in June 2010 was among the key
achievements as the development strategy is now the blue print for agricultural planning in
An enabling environment for agriculture has been created through the formulation and
publication of several policy documents like:
1. The National Seed Industry Policy in 2011
2. The National Food and Nutrition Policy
3. The National Agricultural Extension Policy
Other broad strategies being implemented by the agriculture sector ministries are seven flagship
projects under Vision 2030. Just to mention, these include:
1. Branding Kenyan farm products
2. Establishment of disease-free zones and livestock processing facilities
3. Creation of publicly accessible and registries
4. Development of an agricultural land use master plan and development of irrigation schemes.
These changes have already improved yields.
On production, there has been significant increase in the value of horticulture in Kenya from
Kshs 143 billion to Kshs. 205 billion.
The increase in agricultural productivity and outputs was a combined result of:
Introduction of 28 new disease-resistant and high yielding crop varieties;
2. Provision of subsidized fertilizers to farmers through the National Cereals and Produce Board
The commercial banks increased credit to farmers, which in 2011stood at Kshs53 billion. The
Government has been promoting
sustainable land use.
c) Explain the significance of Agriculture to Economic Development of a Country
Agriculture is the art and business of cultivating soil, producing crops and raising livestock.
According to a World Bank report in 2005, stated that about two thirds of the world population
poor are mainly concentrated in rural areas, which are predominantly agriculture-oriented areas.
Therefore, in respect to poverty eradication and raising the welfare standards of the population;
more focus should be put on agricultural activities. t’s a sector that establishes the
industrialization framework through; supplying raw materials for industries, example timber for
the paper manufacturing industry, skin and hides for leather making industry. It generates foreign
currency through the export process of agricultural products.
It creates a source of employment to the population through farming, business and research
activities therefore raising the standard of living of individuals.
The purchasing power of the population is improved through income generation, hence creating
a market for industrial products. Agriculture in itself is also a market for industrial goods such as
machinery, equipment and fertilizers used in the farming process. It promotes and creates various
off-farm activities such as transportation, research programs that look for better and improved
methods to be applied in farming and livestock activities, example Kenya Agricultural Institute
Agriculture ensures a constant food supply and food security for the population, this ensures that
the work force fed with energy to supply labor to industries and other economic sectors.
d) Discuss the challenges that have impaired the attainment of food security in Kenya
Cultural beliefs can influence dietary practices making people still feel food insecure even if
some food which are less valued in the community are in plenty for instance a certain community
may have plenty of livestock animals for meat but they are still food insecure for example the
Muslim community. Some communities may also have plenty of vegetables within the
community but the vegetables are not considered as food for them.
Farming practices and poor rain patterns can also lead to food insecurity in a community, for
example cash crop farming in a community may lead to scarcity of food crop in the region due to
production of cash crops which cannot be consumed as food by the community, for example a
community which produces coffee will suffer food scarcity on maize, potatoes, beans etc. poor
rain patterns are also a major factor to food production due to insufficient water for cop
Poor infrastructure in the community can also affect food insecurity. That is poor roads in the
community which hinders the accessibility to food sources like major food markets in the area.
Food producers also find it difficult to access the community to sell their produce. This factor to
food insecurity can be addressed by construction of roads in the community.
Poor farming and storage methods are also major factors in food insecurity within the Kenyan
community. Old farming methods like mono-cropping, relying in rain for farming, old food
storage methods can contribute to poor food production and storage of surplus food. Relying on
one type of food group within a community can also affect food availability, for example the
Masaai community source their food from animal products which may lead to food insecurity
during the drought season. Animals die from the drought hence no food for human consumption.
Explain The effect of Land Fragmentation on Agricultural Production
Positive effects of land fragmentation
The following factors are considered major advantages of land fragmentation:
a) ¨ Risk reduction. Having several different parcels avoids the risk of production failure on
all the land. This risk is not of great dimension, however, and cannot be considered as a
primary advantage; only a small number of farmers consider risk reduction to be an
advantage of fragmentation.
b) ¨ Diversified crop production. In our study villages, the farmers usually own land of three
different qualities or categories. In some cases, though the arable land is homogeneous
and belongs to the same category, farmers still prefer to have separate parcels.
c) -Production coordination. The possibility of tilling different parcels with different crops
at different times is considered another advantage of land fragmentation.
Negative effects of Land Fragmentation
problems of fragmentation are attached to irrigation, mechanization, fertilization, transport, and
agronomic practices. Problems due to land fragmentation are classified as follows:
¨ restricts agricultural modernization (mechanization, irrigation, agronomic practices);
¨ inhibits improvement of the land and heightens risk of abandonment of some parcels;
creates economic and production problems because of increased time, work, and
organization required by the parcels’ distance.
Trace the origin and development of agriculture from independence to the present
Agriculture has since independence in 1963 expanded with widespread acceptance of
private ownership (replacing communal ownership) and cash crop farming; and intensive
nationwide efforts to expand and upgrade the production of smallholder farming.
Although less than eight per cent of Kenya’s land is under cultivation, agriculture is the
country’s most important economic activity.
From independence in 1963 to the oil crisis in 1973, the agricultural sector expanded by
undergoing two basic changes: first, widespread acceptance of private ownership
(replacing communal ownership) and cash crop farming; second, the success of intensive
nationwide efforts to expand and upgrade the production of African smallholders.
Before World War II (1939–45) ended, agricultural development occurred almost
exclusively in the “White Highlands”, an area of some 31,000 square kilometers allocated
to immigrant white settlers and plantation companies. Since independence, as part of a
land consolidation and resettlement policy, the Kenya government, with financial aid
from the United Kingdom, has gradually transferred large areas to African ownership.
European-owned agriculture remains generally large-scale and almost entirely
After the 1973 oil crisis, agricultural growth slowed as less untapped land became
available. Government involvement in marketing, coupled with inefficient trade and
exchange rate policies discouraged production during the 1970s. Coffee production
booms in the late 1970s and in 1986 have in the past temporarily helped the economy in
its struggle away from deficit spending and monetary expansion. Agriculture has defied
odds to emerge the leading economic sector after recording the highest growth in 2012.
The Government hopes to roll out the infrastructure required to put one million acres of
land under irrigation and build abattoirs in each county as contained in Jubilee’s
manifesto. This grand plan that will move the country away from rain-fed agriculture
would require billions of shillings. The infrastructure is to help attract the private sector
to move in and do the actual farming. Development partners are already helping with
construction of abattoirs.
Apart from attracting the private sector, the Government plans to seek donor funding to
ensure that its plans take off.
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