World Bank offers a Sh25bn loan to mitigate drought

The World Bank said five-part project will start by financing and upscaling “climate-smart” agricultural practices that will cut greenhouse gas emission and boost adaptation to harsh conditions.

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The loan for the project dubbed ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ will finance research, production and distribution of seeds as the country moves to build resilience to fluctuating weather risks.

“The project will target small holder farming and pastoral communities in Kenya, and in the event of an eligible crisis or emergency, to provide immediate and effective response,” the World Bank on Monday.

The loan comes as a relief as the weatherman has warned of another year of depressed rainfall.

This move will, however, push up Kenya’s stock of external debt to new highs. Kenya’s public debt hit Sh3.56 trillion in September.

The World Bank said five-part project will start by financing and up scaling “climate-smart” agricultural practices that will cut greenhouse gas emission and boost adaptation to harsh conditions.

The second component, the World Bank said, would involve research, production and distribution of weather-resilient seeds to small scale farmers while the third part of the loan will go to marketing and advisory services.

Other components include development of agro-weather forecasting and marketing information system and financing activities.

Official data indicates that 80 per cent of Kenya’s farmers are smallholders.

Farmers taking part in the project that runs up to 2022 will benefit from improved infrastructure, SME support, water resource management and non-farm income generation.

Crops are set to take the lion’s share of the funds of up to 30 per cent followed by fisheries and livestock at 15 per cent each as irrigation and agricultural extension each take 10 per cent.

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