Role of agriculture in economic development in Kenya

  

Date Posted: 12/3/2011 5:38:18 AM

Posted By: strictlyurban  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 293

ROLE OF AGRICULTURE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN KENYA

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.

In Kenya agriculture is an important fundamental in economic development, it contributes 35% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and constitutes 40% of the export earnings.

It’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 programmes that look for better and improved methods to be applied in farming and livestock activities, example Kenya Agricultural Institute (KARI).

Agriculture ensures a constant food supply and food security for the population, this ensures that the work force fed with energy to supply labour to industries and other economic sectors.

It also saves the country funds that would have rather been used in the importing of food from other countries this in turn has a positive effect on the country’s balance of payments and there is surplus money to invest in other areas of the economy such as social overheads; roads, hospitals.

Above all it contributes towards rural-urban balancing; through the creation of employment in the rural areas it discourages rural to urban migration and this helps in the better distribution of incomes and balanced use of social amenities. Through all this multiplier effects agriculture is perceived to an engine of economic growth and development.

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