Gov’t to lease 500,000 acres of idle land to private sector - PS Harsama

Gov’t to lease 500,000 acres of idle land to private sector - PS Harsama

Principal Secretary (PS) for Crops Development Kello Harsama.

In a move to address the food deficit and increase agricultural productivity, the Kenyan government has unveiled a plan to put vast tracts of idle land into agricultural use. 

According to Kello Harsama, the Principal Secretary (PS) for Crops Development, the initiative aims to bridge the food deficit and prevent future food crises, following the severe effects of the recent drought that plagued the country.

During a land commercialization briefing with investors last week, the PS shared the government's plan to make over 500,000 acres of state-owned land available for agricultural investment by the private sector. 

"Recently, we experienced the biggest food deficit the country has ever seen with a shortfall of over 10 million bags of maize," said the PS

Harsama added that the approach not only promotes private sector participation but also encourages investment in the agricultural sector, which is crucial for its growth and development.

"This initiative is fully aligned with the Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS 2019-2029), which is a key component of our overall economic development plan" he said.

According to the PS, the conversion of idle land into agricultural use will expand the agricultural sector's capacity to produce more food, reducing the country's dependence on food imports and safeguarding against future food shortages. 

In turn this initiative will create employment opportunities, particularly in rural areas, where agriculture is the primary source of livelihood. Increased agricultural activity will also stimulate the economy, as it provides a boost to related industries such as manufacturing, logistics, and exports.

"The president has declared that for us to maximally utilise our land resources, we are going to establish over 100 mega dams across the country to facilitate irrigation agriculture.”

He explained that the government has prioritized certain parcels of land for the initial phase of the project, including GalanaKulalu, Bura irrigation scheme, Egerton University, Kimabere farm, Kirimum field unit, Masingafarm, Tana Delta irrigation project, and Tana irrigation scheme. 


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