The World Bank biennial report for 2019 has ranked Kenya as the second best country in Africa for providing enabling environment for agribusiness.

During a virtual launch of the ‘Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2019 report’ on February 23, 2021, Samjhana Thapa, a Senior Agriculture Economist at the World Bank said that Kenya has shown relative strengths on aspects related to securing water, trading food, registering machinery, and sustaining livestock.

“Kenya achieved the highest score observed in Sub-Saharan Africa in relation to those four aspects,” she said.

AGRA has been on the forefront in pushing for a micro reform approach to have policies and reforms passed within the shortest time possible.

“Usually policies take between 5 to 10 years to pass, but from what we have been doing, we have seen policies and reforms pass within an area of 3 to five years,” John Macharia, AGRA’s Country Manager told the virtual meeting during the launch.

The report, which was compiled as from 2019 after a global survey in 2018 found that by then, Kenya needed to improve on its regulatory framework on aspects related to protecting plant health, accessing finance, and registering fertilizers.

“In particular, Kenya’s score on the accessing finance indicator is restricted by the country’s lack of a specific regulatory framework to support the development of a warehouse receipt system. Similarly, Kenya’s score on the registering fertilizer indicator is restricted by the country’s lack of a requirement to register new fertilizer products,” reads part of the report.

However, Peter Munya, the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives noted that in the past two years preceding the survey, the government has intensified the fight against corruption, malpractice, and poor governance as part and parcel of creating an enabling agribusiness environment.

“The robust reforms in the Strategic Food Reserve Management and Warehouse Receipting Systems have been designed to improve efficiency and accountability, both in the use of the public resources and ensuring that farmers get a fair wage for their goods,” said CS Munya.

AGRA has been working directly with the national and county governments to improve the efficiency of the Warehouse Receipting Systems, the Electronic Voucher System for distributing farm inputs to smallholders especially those found in remote villages, Village Based Advisors model as part of innovative extension service provision that include distribution of farm inputs to smallholders, and mechanization of the smallholders among many other fronts.

In general, the EBA report presents indicators that measure laws, regulations and bureaucratic processes that affect agriculture in 101 countries. It covers eight scored indicators: supplying seed, registering fertilizer, securing water, registering machinery, sustaining livestock, protecting plant health, trading food and accessing finance.

According to the survey, Kenya’s scored 64.8 out of 100, which is higher than the average score observed globally (61.47), higher than the average score observed across countries in Sub-Saharan Africa2(40.69), and higher than the average score observed in lower-middle-income countries (50.58).

“On behalf of the Government, I wish to thank the World Bank for this timely report; and along with AGRA and the Agriculture Transformation Office who have also worked tirelessly to make this a reality,” said Munya.