Alternatives for improving production, employment and income distribution in Kenyan agriculture
Mwangi, W. M.
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The ever increasing population pressure with concomitant increasing food demand, land fragmentation and employment pose major challenges to agricultural development in Kenya. In this paper we explore various ways in which the Government can concentrate its scarce resources to accelerate production growth and employment in agriculture to at least keep abreast of population growth. These measures include land use intensification, shift in cropping patterns, land redistribution, increased supply of land and dry land farming. The second part of the paper examines the various Government policies directed towards agriculture and attempts to assess their impact on income distribution. The policies considered here include pricing, marketing, credit, research, extension and land policy. Most of the future increase in production will have to come from higher productivity, but increasing yields is going to cost money for irrigation, import of inputs like fertilizer, farm-to-market transport and the entire range of infrastructure soft ware such as research, extension and credit. Thus the country will need much higher levels of investment than at present especially in smallholder sector. Technically there seem to be few problems outside the feasible range of currently available possibilities. But the perennial issues of management and institutional structure will pose the biggest problems.