Agriculture sector still underfunded despite being a driving force of the conomy, committee

By Tobby Otum

Despite the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic theAgricultural sector still remains the force that drives the country’s economy.

Parliamentary committee on Agriculture chairman Silas Kipkoech Tiren said he is unhappy with the way the sector is still being underfunded during the annual budgetary allocations.

He regretted the sector has not yet received the Sh 1.5 billion allocated to it by President Uhuru Kenyatta after the outbreak of the deadly pandemic.

“The amount was given out during the challenging times after the outbreak of the pandemic,” he pointed out.

Tiren said they are unhappy with the Treasury for failing to adhere with the Head of State’s directive to release the funds.

He was addressing journalists during a retreat at the English Point Marina in Nyali constituency, Mombasa county.

The parliamentary committee chairman wants the Treasury to look into the sector during this year’s annual budgetary allocation as nothing much has been done.

Tiren said the committee has noticed a lot of challenges while going through the estimate of the budget ahead of this year’s annual budgetary allocation.

The committee chairman accused the government of going against the Maputo Declaration that stipulates that a minimum of 10 percent of the budget has to be allocated to the agricultural sector.

Tiren, who is Moiben legislator, said the 3.1 percent allocated to the sector is clear testimony they are underfunded by at least Sh 26 billion.

He insisted with the estimate at the committee’s disposal the sector is underfunded and urged the Treasury to consider their request.

“The sector has a lot of issues with the Head of State with the allocation of the Sh 1.5billion as subsidy in order to improve the Agricultural sector,” he pointed out.

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