Subsidized fertiliser, good weather yield sector growth

Tuesday, May 21st, 2024 04:30 | By
A maize farm. PHOTO/Print

Key interventions such as the supply of subsidized fertilizer, expansion in areas under farming and favourable weather conditions contributed to the 6.5 per cent growth in 2023 compared to 1.5 per cent recorded in 2022, reveals Economic Survey 2024.

The survey released yesterday in Nairobi equally noted that growth in the agriculture sector boosted the country’s economic growth by 5.5 per cent.

The government confirmed the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector grew by 6.5 per cent in 2023, making it a recovery from the 1.5 per cent contraction registered in 2022. “This recovery was mostly attributed to favourable weather conditions that prevailed through most of the year,” stated the survey. 

Other factors that contributed to the remarkable growth include expansion in area under crops as a result of farmers anticipating high prices for their produce and enhanced Government intervention that included the fertiliser subsidy programme.

Increased production

Consequently, agriculture value added at constant prices grew by 7 per cent to Sh1.6 trillion in 2023 compared to Sh1.5 trillion in 2022.  Maize production increased by 38.8 per cent, from 34.3 million bags in 2022 to 47.6 million bags in 2023.

Similarly, green leaf tea production increased from 2.4 million metric tonnes in 2022 to 2.5 million MT in 2023 contribution to Sh176.3 billion in earnings for the review period. 

The volume of marketed milk increased from 754.3 million litres in 2022 to 806.6 million litres in 2023 thus increasing earnings to Sh41 billion in the review period from Sh36.8 billion in 2022.  

The country exported 430,200 metric tonnes of horticultural produce in 2023 accounting 9.9 per cent increase from 391.5 per cent in 2022.  But other subsectors recorded a drop in production and value, for example, sugar recorded a drop to 5.6 million tonnes in the period under review compared to 8.8 million tonnes in the preview year.

Coffee production contracted from 51,900 metric tonnes in the 2021/22 to 48.7 per cent tonnes in the 2022/23 crop year reflecting 6.2 per cent decline, largely attributed to attack of the crop by coffee berry disease. 

The sector registered 10.7 per cent increase in earnings from marketed agricultural production to Sh628.5 billion. Cereals, horticulture, some of the permanent crops, livestock and product recovered an increased during the review period.

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