Kenya is set to receive a US $200M loan from the World Bank to support various development projects to improve food security in the country.
Vinay Kunar Vutukru, a senior agriculture economist with the bank, confirmed the report and said that the institution is negotiating with the State on the new loan that will be channelled to various agriculture value chains. They expect to conclude the talks and have the financial assistance approved within the next two months.
“We are currently in talks with the government with a view to continue our support to the agriculture sector to enhance food production,” said Mr Vutukuru.
The World Bank is currently funding various projects in the sector valued at $500 million. Mr Vutukuru made the remarks during the launch of a five-year migration and invasive pests and weeds management strategy (2022-2027) in Nairobi.
Desert locust invaded Kenya in 2019 and ravaged thousands of acres posing a major threat to food security. Kenya’s Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said the crisis caused by the locust invasions demonstrated the need for a well-coordinated, multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach for migratory and invasive pests management. Mr Munya said the lessons learnt from the invasion and the emergence of new invasive pests and weeds has also exposed the gaps related to institutional and coordination structures.
“This ministry with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Bank spearheaded the development of the Strategy for Management of Migratory and Invasive Pests,” said Mr Munya.
Mr Munya said the strategy has identified seven priority pillars for a comprehensive migratory pest management system and will provide a platform for a coordinated collaborative approach. FAO deputy director-general Beth Bechool who is in the country to meet with various stakeholders working towards containing the desert locust hailed Kenya on its efforts to fight the migratory pests in the last two years.
“FAO is supportive of the Government plans to fully contain the desert locust and other migratory pests, management. Under the new strategies, various strategic interventions will be implemented including resource mobilisation and management, livelihood restoration and resilience mechanism among others,” said Bechool.