Israeli investors eye Kenya’s agricultural sector

The Israeli business community is keen to invest in Kenya’s agricultural sector which is yet to reach its full potential, a government official said on Tuesday.

Michael Lotem, Israel’s Ambassador to Kenya, told journalists in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya that the country’s agricultural sector offers significant opportunities due to the presence of large tracts of arable land coupled with the rising population.

Avocados for exports. FILE PHOTO | NMG

“The leading Israeli technology, financial and agricultural companies are exploring strategic business development and partnership opportunities that will enhance Kenya’s food security,” Lotem said during the Kenya-Israel Agribusiness Roadshow.

He said that Israeli firms have developed technology that will enable Kenya to achieve food production with minimal use of water and soil resources.

The envoy noted that Israel is a leader in precision agriculture that involves the use of drones, sensors, and farm management software to boost farmers’ yields.

Oscar Magenya, Secretary of Research and Innovation at Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Co-operatives said that a vibrant agribusiness sector has tremendous potential to be a powerful engine for transformation.

Government data indicates that the agricultural sector contributes over 33 percent of the gross domestic product, employs 40 percent of the population, and accounts for 65 percent of the country’s export earnings.

Magenya added that Kenya is seeking technologies from Israel that will lower the cost of production and make locally grown agricultural produce competitive in the global market.

He observed that Kenya will also leverage modern technologies to transform from being a net food importer to a food exporter.

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