Former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich arrives at Parliament buildings on June 13, 2019 to read the 2019/2020 Budget. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP In the first three quarters of 2019, tea production fell by 9 per cent, coffee sales at the Nairobi coffee exchange by 4 per cent and cane delivery by 11 per cent.
The country’s top agricultural export earners recorded declining prices over the first three quarters of 2019.
In 2019, Kenya’s diaspora remittances stood at Sh285.5 billion, up by Sh13.6 billion in 2018, latest data from the World Bank shows.
Unemployment has risen steeply while agricultural exports have dropped, pulling down Kenya’s overall growth projection for 2019 to 5.6 per cent from 6.2 per cent.
Coupled with this is diminishing access to credit for businesses, rising inflation and the taxman’s missed revenue targets, a clear indication that businesses are not generating enough.
Worse still, Kenya is now depending on diaspora remittances as its biggest source of the dollar, joining the likes of Somalia for this line of sustenance.
Parliament, through its budget office and the Budget and Appropriations Committee, is clear that the National Treasury needs to steady the ship or the country heads into a serious meltdown.
Through the Budget Policy Statement, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the main contributor to the dampened economic growth in 2019 was the agricultural sector’s poor performance due to reduced output and sale of most of the major cash crops.
In the first three quarters of 2019, tea production fell by 9 per cent, coffee sales at the Nairobi coffee exchange by 4 per cent and cane delivery by 11 per cent.
The country’s top agricultural export earners recorded declining prices over the first three quarters of 2019, with the average price per kilogramme of tea and coffee between January and September 2019 being 23 per cent and 29 per cent lower respectively.Consequently, the value of tea, coffee and horticultural exports declined by 23 per cent, 10 per cent and 9 per cent respectively in the first three quarters.“We’ve observed that the government’s growth projections have been overly optimistic only for them to be revised downwards in the course of the year,” Mr Kimani Ichung’wa, the chairman of Parliament’s Budget and Appropriations Committee, said in a report analysing the policy statement that was tabled in the House last Wednesday. JOB CREATION The Parliamentary Budget Office, in its report […]