Challenges Facing Farming IN Kenya
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Agriculture is considered to be the backbone of the Kenyan economy and is the largest contributor of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It also accounts for the largest percentage of revenue from exports as well as a fairly large percentage of wage employment. Studies show that 15-17% land is sufficient enough for farming in Kenya; this is in terms of fertility and rainfall.

With the importance of agriculture in the Kenyan economy, one would expect that the government would give it the full support required to steer it to greater heights, but this is hardly the case as agriculture still lags behind other sectors in terms of government support and disbursement of funds. Agriculture still faces a number of hurdles which need to be urgently addressed so as to push the sector forward. These challenges include;

• Inadequate government support- Agricultural sector does not get enough incentives from the government as it ought to get. The money disbursed for the agricultural sector in the annual budget is fairly low and ought to be increased by a large margin if at all the government wants to attract investors into the sector. Other incentives like seedlings and fertilizer should be made available to farmers at the beginning of every planting season.

• Shunning of agriculture by citizens- Most Kenyans avoid farming at all costs with majority opting for the white collar jobs as opposed to agriculture. There is need to invest in teaching about agriculture in learning institutions. Other citizens also need to be taught skills in agriculture and encouraged to apply those skills. It should also be stressed that farming in Kenya is a source of employment which is even better than the white collar jobs.

• Rural-urban migration- This refers to the movement of people, usually in large numbers, from the rural areas to the urban areas n search of greener pastures. The result of this is the scrambling for social amenities in urban centers whereas rural lands lie fallow thus decreasing the production rate in farm products. This is a dangerous trend for the Country because majority of Kenyans rely on agricultural products for food. There is a need to increase social amenities and other necessary facilities in rural areas that people go looking for in urban areas so as to encourage them to stay in the villages and practice farming.

• Inadequacy of research firms- More research firms need to be put up to help the already existing ones like the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and the Kenya Sugar Research Firm (KESREF). These research firms are not sufficient enough to carry out agricultural research; hence the need for more well furnished facilities for the same purpose.

• Lack of modern and efficient machinery- Majority of farming in Kenya is done using outdated and simple tools like hoes, pangas which cannot produce farm products on a large scale basis. This calls for the need to heavily invest in modern machinery for the purpose of more production output.


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