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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

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    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Monday, February 18, 2008

    Experts cast doubt on Agra’s soil fertility plan

    Agriculture experts have criticised a programme seeking to restore soil fertility in Kenya and other African countries, saying that similar programmes implemented in India and elsewhere aggravated farmer’s problems instead of providing solutions.

    At stake is the future of the continent’s agricultural practices —what is grown, how it is grown, who gets to grow it, who processes it, who sells it and where and how much the African consumer will pay.

    The programme is an initiative of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra), which recently announced that it was committing $180 million to the five-year project in 13 African countries. Agra’s soil health programme is targeted at small scale farmers and aims to increase farm yields and incomes by giving farmers seeds and inputs such as fertilizers through licensed agro-dealers.

    The Sh12.6 billion grant has been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Sh11.55 billion) and the Rockefeller Foundation (Sh1.05 billion).

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