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Kenya Set to Reduce Its Dependence on Food Imports By USD 200 Mn Every Year

With the signing of a deal with the British-based investment organization United Green Group, Kenya is projected to cut its reliance on food imports by USD 200 million (Sh26 billion) every year.

Shivam Dwivedi
High-value crops such as rice, cotton, sunflower, soybean, and maize are projected to earn foreign exchange
High-value crops such as rice, cotton, sunflower, soybean, and maize are projected to earn foreign exchange

For the next five years, the United Green Group will provide Agri-fin-tech services for rural communities, high-productivity climate-smart farming, and cutting-edge agro-industrial facilities.

This comes as Kenya's food import bill touched a record high in the first nine months of last year, driven by a significant reduction in local production owing to persistent drought.

"The investment would assist Kenya's strong commitment to agricultural transformation, greater productivity and production, and inclusive growth of local agriculture and related businesses," Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria said.

The agreement, through a local joint venture with Kenyan enterprise Victoria Green Invest, would implement a rigorous agricultural development strategy aimed at significantly contributing to regional food security.

High-value crops such as rice, cotton, sunflower, soybean, and maize are projected to earn foreign exchange with a focus on feeding local consumer and industry needs. Kuria, Kisumu County Governor Prof Peter Anyang' Nyong'o, and United Green Group Chief Investment Officer Albrecht Frischenschlager signed the agreement.

"We are happy to have discovered such dedicated foundation partners and identified potential additional relationships with foreign DFIs, and we look forward to working together to establish a national champion firm in the area," Frischenschlager added.

According to the most recent Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data, Kenya's food import cost increased 18 percent in nine months to Sh183.93 billion from Sh155.42 in the same time in 2021.

This is the biggest total for the first nine months of a year since 2017, when the bill stood at Sh185.22 billion, indicating increased food imports during the election period.

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