State sets sights on tax breaks to lift research


From Left: Elgon Kenya Managing Director Bimal Kantaria, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and Nairobi University Vice-Chancellor Stephen Kiama during the groundbreaking ceremony for Kantaria Agricultural Technology and Innovation Centre (KATIC) at the University of Nairobi, Upper Kabete campus on July 25, 2023. PHOTO | KENNEDY AMUNGO | NMG 

The Kenyan government will consider extending tax reliefs to research undertakings and related resources as the country revamps the sector to account for at least two percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi said on Tuesday that the measure, if implemented, would boost innovation.

“Since we have not been able to meet the target of two percent of GDP on research and development, maybe there’s a little more we need to do in that space. We could create an opportunity through Parliament for there to be a tax-deductible benefit on resources that are directed towards research,” said Mudavadi.

He spoke when he officiated the groundbreaking for the construction of an agricultural technology and innovation centre at the University of Nairobi’s upper Kabete campus.

The hub, whose building will be fully funded by Agri-input supplier Elgon Kenya at a cost of up to Sh60 million, is poised to nurture a robust agricultural innovation ecosystem through synergetic action and exchange of knowledge among diverse actors drawn from both the tech and the agricultural sectors.

The facility is projected to be ready in one year.

Mr Mudavadi underscored the need for speedy interventions aimed at achieving food security, noting that Kenya’s rapidly growing population is overstretching the production capacity, aided by, among other factors, climate change, decreasing agro-diversity and post-harvest losses.

“To meet the rising demands of our rapidly growing population, we must invest and annually increase agricultural production by a minimum of two percent…Institutions specialised in science, technology and innovation that will allow more production for less are our beacon of hope,” he stated.

If executed, the taxation incentive would act as an add-on to a range of measures adopted by President William Ruto-led administration in a bid to increase agro-production.

PAYE Tax Calculator

Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.