Kenya will receive $200 million from the World Bank to fund several development programmes aimed at improving the country’s food security. The institution is in talks with the Kenyan government about a new loan that will be channeled through several agriculture value chains.
According to Vinay Kunar Vutukru, the World Bank’s senior agricultural economist, talks are expected wrap up within the next eight weeks. The World Bank is currently investing $500 million in several other projects in the sector.
“We are currently in talks with the government with a view to continue our support to the agriculture sector to enhance food production,” said Vutukuru.
Vutukuru made the comments during the Nairobi inauguration of a five-year migration and invasive pests and weeds control strategy, hosted on Monday, 7 February.
In 2019, desert locusts reached Kenya, ravaging thousands of acres and posing a serious danger to food security. The catastrophe caused by the locust invasions, underlined the necessity for a well-coordinated, multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach to migratory and invasive pest control, said Kenya’s agriculture cabinet secretary Peter Munya.
The lessons learned from the invasion, as well as the introduction of other invasive pests and weeds, have shown institutional and coordination weaknesses, according to Munya.
“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,” he said, as reported by The East African.
Kenya had previously received a loan from the World Bank for the sum of $200 million, in June of 2018.
“The World Bank today approved a $200 million International Development Association (IDA)* credit to assist Kenya in managing the impacts of climate and disaster risks,” the bank said in a statement released at the time. “Extreme climatic events have long threatened development progress in Kenya, where 84% of the land is classified as arid or semi-arid, and where droughts and floods are estimated to cost the economy over 2% of GDP each year on average.”