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REASONS BEHIND MAIZE SCARCITY IN KENYA AND WAYS TO OVERCOME THEM.

Maize in Kenya is regarded as a stable food for its people. Ugali is widely consumed by a majority of Kenyans and the scarcity of maize should be worrying many. Therefore, the government need to intervene and look for long term solutions that will address the shortage we’re experiencing today rather than opting for importing which only solves the problem temporarily. Some of the long term solutions to enhance increased production of maize and other agricultural products in Kenya are discussed below;

  • Reducing the cost production

The cost of producing agricultural products is a very sensitive and thorny issue that needs the intervention of government to address it. The cost of inputs such as fertilizers, seeds, labour is very high for the small scale farmers to bear. This situation forces them to plant uncertified seeds without fertilizer hence incurring losses at the end of the season. As a result, there is a low production which leads to a deficit which is now currently felt through high prices of unga. Therefore, this calls for government through the ministry of agriculture to introduce subsidies for the agri-based inputs. This will make the highly required agricultural inputs to be cheaper for the farmer hence can be able to access them to increase the yields hence ensured food security in the country.

  • Poor transportation and communication network

Most of the agricultural practices take place in the reserve areas of Kenya which are characterized by poor road network. Poor road network inhibits the quick transportation of maize from the area of production to the areas with a deficit. This results to high costs which discourages farmers from producing the product in large quantities and opt for subsistence production. This leads to the gap in the market thereby leading to skyrocketing of unga prices. Therefore, both the county and national governments should come together and address this menace of poor road networks that is causing pain to the common mwananchi.

  • Lack of extension services

Extension officers play a very crucial role when it comes to matters concerning agricultural production. They help disseminate important information to farmers regarding improved methods to adopt in farming to improve the yields of agricultural products. But these beneficial officers ain’t there to perform these noble functions. Hence, farmers end up using poor seeds and methods of farming that results to low production.

  • Importation of cheap maize

Flooding our markets with cheap imported maize from neighboring countries by cartels has discouraged local producers from producing in large quantities since they end up selling at a low price hence sometimes may end up not covering the cost incurred during planting and during the management process. This kills the morale of farmers farmers from producing in high quantities and when the cheap imported maize gets depleted, a deficit for maize sets in. Regarding maize importation, the government should come up with strategies such high taxation, tarrifs that will make imported maize to be more expensive than the locally produced so that local farmers can sell their products competitively and at a profit. This will encourage more production from local farmers.

  • Government to address climatical changes

Lack of preparedness from government on how to curb climatical changes has resulted to high losses in the agriculture production process. The government should put up appropriate measures to address drought matters whenever it occurs. For instance; construction of dams and adopting of irrigation can help revert losses during droughts and still production of maize and other agricultural products be high.

By,

Dennis Ondati,

Agricultural economist and resource manager.

 

 

AGRIBUSINESS THE FUTURE OF KENYA’S UNEMPLOYED YOUTHS.

Many decades ago, farming in Africa more importantly in kenya, looked ugly and unattractive business Youths could get involved in. This resulted from the risks and uncertainties that engulfed the sector due to the application of outdated methods of farming, post harvest loses, poor pricing of agricultural produce, poor marketing information, poor management practices in the farms amongst other factors that negatively affected the agricultural sector in Kenya.

Despite the above challenges facing the sector, it remains one of the sleeping lions that waits to wake up and boost the economy of this great country of Africa and settle the unemployment problems amongst the evergrowing population of youths. With the introduction of modern technology in farming, agriculture has been revolutionized and made attractive, beautiful and handsome. Most of the pressing challenges have been addressed  and now its up to the youths of Kenya to take up the challenge and impress agribusiness as a full-time job that pays just like any other work. Below are some of the agribusiness opportunities in Kenya that one can take up and be successful in life;

  • Value Addition of Agri-products

Kenya produces a variety of agricultural products for instance; milk, mangoes, pineapples, vegetables, coconut, nuts, bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes and many other products that most of the time are sold raw. If the youths could take up this golden chance/opportunity of value addition, the returns from it could be appealing.

Forinstance, let’s value add milk and see the magic.

1 litre of milk costs ksh. 60 and if you buy 50 litres it’ll cost you ksh. 3,000 and after processing,

1 litre of yoghurt costs ksh. 150 and if you value added 50 litres you’ll get ksh. 7,500 making a profit of ksh. 4,500!! This isn’t magic guys, its real and it applies to all agricultural products that can be processed.

  • Poultry Keeping

Poultry rearing in Kenya is also another area yet to be exploited. You can decide to buy a one day old chick at ksh. 100 and keep it for two months and sell it at ksh. 400 making a ksh. 300 profit per chick!! Or you can decide to keep them until they begin laying eggs and start supplying eggs to local shops, hotels and supermarkets, still here the returns are very high and attractive colleagues.

  • Tree Planting Planting

You can never go wrong in this one!! Usually a longtime project of up to 10 years. If you have a spared land at your place, just plant only one hundred gum trees and ensure all of them don’t get dried. After 10 years Kenya Power will look for you wanting to purchase electricity posts from you and imagine 1 tree goes for ksh. 3,000, you’ll smile to the bank as Kenya’s newest millionaire!! That’s how it works dudes indeed patience pays.

  • Dairy Farming

Milk in Kenya is termed as a basic commodity which majority of the populace can’t go without!! Kenyan youth, did you hear that?? Let me repeat the line once again “A basic commodity that Kenyans can’t go without!!” Then as a wise agribusiness entrepreneur youth,what are you waiting for?? The market is there for your product, go for a loan either from a bank, SACCO or relative and have your two cows to start you off.

There are many many other ventures in agriculture that one can start apart from the above and become very successful in life. From our #TiMiA_AgRiDeAs_EmPiRe, we wish you the very best as you begin your journey in agribusiness.

By  Dennis Ondati

An agricultural economist

Merry Xmas from TiMiA EmPiRe

TiMiA EmPiRe wishes all Kenyans a merry Christmas and a prosperous new 2018. Let’s love one another and celebrate this festive session in a peaceful manner.

As one of our main agenda as TiMiA EmPiRe, let the year 2018 be a year of innovative Farming. We’ll share ideas based on modern technology in agriculture to ensure that our youths invests in an area that has assured proceeds.

Thanks…