Opinion & Analysis

EDITORIAL: Think beyond agriculture

A woman picks tea in Kericho. Agriculture which accounts for 32.6 per cent of the country’s economy suffered bad weather. file photo | nmg
A woman picks tea in Kericho. Agriculture which accounts for 32.6 per cent of the country’s economy suffered bad weather. file photo | nmg 

One of the key highlights of the Economic Survey report released on Wednesday was the contrasting performance last year of key sectors and that of the small ones.

While mainstream sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, construction and retail recorded a drop in growth, the likes of accommodation and food services, ICT, real estate, transport and storage grew by healthy margins.

Indeed, the marginal increase in the economic growth of 5.8 per cent was largely down to the recovery or upturn in the fortunes of the smaller sectors.

No effort should be spared to arrest the slowdown in the major sectors, which also happen to create the most jobs.

But their depressed performance equally makes a case for diversification of the economy, with greater focus on the non-mainstream sectors.

With Kenyan agriculture, for instance, still heavily reliant on erratic rains and manufacturing weighed down by production costs, the country can simply not afford to put its eggs in one basket any more.