Inside Politics

KNCCI urges State to incentivise agricultural inputs

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 00:00 |
Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Richard Ngatia (right) confers with a Kikuyu elder John Muchiri during Kirinyaga County Cultural Festival over the weekend. Photo/TIMOTHY NJENGA

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kncci) has called for provision of incentives by the national government on agricultural inputs to save the country’s main foreign exchange earner from external competition.

Kncci president Richard Ngatia said the move would cushion local farmers from unfavourable business conditions for both domestic and international markets.

“To promote agriculture, there is need to tackle the growing problem of imported rice from Pakistan which has become a threat to local farmers,” said Ngatia.

Cultural festival

He singled out low incentives on agricultural inputs such as fertiliser, underdeveloped agricultural value chains for less dominant cash crops and exploitation of farmers by middlemen as major drawbacks to commercial farming.

Ngatia spoke during the Kirinyaga Cultural Festival held over the weekend dubbed “conserving our water towers through culture”.

He challenged traders to promote effective public participation in the planning and budget making process at the county level and to pursue inter and intra-county trade that facilitates enterprise development.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration has initiated revival of collapsed sectors including agriculture and manufacturing as part of the Big Four development pillars notably in the sugarcane growing, coffee, miraa and textile industry.

Ngatia reiterated that the chamber has been in partnership with county governments since the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the council of governors in 2015 and later with the Kenya Investment Authority in 2016 to facilitate trade and investment in counties.

Already, the chamber has initiated the process to establish Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Development Fund to support the growth of SMEs through credit facilities.

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