The agriculture and livestock sub-sector plays an important role in the county’s development agenda contributing approximately 60 per cent to the economy and employing 70 per cent of the rural population. The county government is aware that to reduce poverty and uplift the standards of living of the people, there is need to invest substantively in this sector. The sector received Kshs.317.28 million in FY 2013/14, Kshs.324.53 million in FY 2015/16 and has been allocated Kshs.314.8 million in FY 2016/17 for recurrent and development activities. The development allocation increased from Kshs.137 million in FY 2013/14 to Kshs.150.78 million in FY 2016/17 representing a budget increase of 10 per cent in three years.
The county has made significant progress in improving agriculture through provision of farm implements to farmers across the County, improved extension services and provision of certified seeds. Since the sector is prone to the vagaries of weather and with the expected farm output during the next harvest projected to be little due to limited rainfall, the county will continue to support the sector and scale up social protection programmes. The department has already undertaken several projects including construction of modern abattoir which is ongoing, procurement and distribution of fishing gears, construction of fish cold storage facilities, provision of agricultural and livestock extension services, purchase and distribution of agricultural chemicals and support fodder production among others.
The department intends to initiate several programmes in FY 2016/17 and FY 2017/18 to improve agricultural productivity. The potential of livestock, dairy and poultry farming, including value addition of their by-products remains untapped as a catalyst for economic transformation and the completion of the modern abbattoir is expected to greately improve livestock production. The potential for fish farming especially in Loiyangalani is huge and the department will continue to support farmers through extension and capcaity building on better fish farming methods, access to modern storage and handling facilities and these programmes will continue to be implemented in FY 2017/18.