Agriculture, forestry and fishing sector posted a decelerated growth of 1.6 percent in 2017 compared to a revised growth of 4.7 percent in 2016 according to stats by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
The year 2017 was characterized by depressed long rains and early cessation of short rains. The unfavorable weather conditions considerably suppressed production of key crops and adversely affected production in the livestock sub-sector.
Scarcity of key food crops and in particular maize and some vegetables was experienced in 2017 as evidenced by significant increases in their respective prices.
The poor performance of the sector was exacerbated by marked decline in production of tea and coffee by 7.0 percent and 11.5 percent respectively.
The activity of sugarcane farming and growing of sisal were notably lower than the 2016 levels further curtailing potential growth in the sector.
In the dairy sub-sector, the quantity of milk delivered to processors declined from 648.2 million liters in 2016 to 535.7 million liters in 2017.
However, despite the general underperformance of the sector, production of food crops such as potatoes, beans and some cereals posted relatively improved performance and somehow mitigated the impact of the decline in the production of the other crops thereby anchoring the growth in 2017.
Similarly, growth in the sector was supported by notable increases in production of cut flowers, fruits and vegetables whose exports grew by 19.7, 16.8 and 10.7, percent, respectively, in 2017.
This translated to a significant increase in the value of export of horticultural produce from 101.5 billion shillings in 2016 to 115.3 billion shillings in 2017.