Aug 18, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Rich investors to bid for dormant State land

Individuals and companies interested in investing in government derelict land must prove their financial strength before they can begin commercial farming on the government-owned farms.

Agriculture and Livestock PS Harry Kimtai said a committee charged with drafting the lease framework will also require proof of involvement in major investment activities as a condition of allocation of agricultural land under the program.

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He said that the framework that has been finalized and is currently awaiting approval was created in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands .

< p> “We will not discriminate against individuals wishing to invest in this country, but the person must prove to us that they are an investor and have a certain amount of money rag to lease the farm,” said Mr. Kimtai.

The PS said the framework will help curb a scenario where one bids for a lease and then uses the allotted parcel not.

The cabinet chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month approved the policy of large-scale commercialization of public lands held for agricultural production.

The policy seeks to provide a framework for the use of vacant land owned by public entities for large-scale commercial agricultural production.

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Kenya is looking at a model where thousands of acres of public land are leased to private investors for food production and cash, less reliant on rain-fed agriculture in favor of irrigation.

Agreed e of the parastatal entities that own vast but unused land are Kenya Railways, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, East African Portland Cement, Kenya Prisons and the University of Nairobi.

The PS said other huge Lands owned by the government in areas like Isiolo, Samburu, Mandera, Lodwar and Wajir will also be given to private investors to selectively plant cattle pastures to prevent drought-related animal deaths.

“We want to attract people who can use this land to produce pasture so that herders don’t have to move to other regions like Ethiopia and Uganda in search of forage,” he said.

Kenya’s commercial agricultural sector currently focuses on products such as tea, coffee, fruits, vegetables and flowers, which are vital to foreign exchange earners.

Kenya is now striving for large-scale commercial production of food crops such as corn, beans and vegetables targeting the domestic market.

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This article was first published on Business Daily.