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Droughts cost Kenyan economy Sh315b

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 2 – The economic cost of droughts on the Kenyan economy between 2000- 2009 exceeds Sh314.6 billion, the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) has warned.

Nsanya Ndanshau, EAGC’s Regional Manager in charge of Structured Training cited crop and livestock loss, forest fires, damage to fisheries, reduced hydro-power generation, reduced industrial production and reduced water supply as some of the drought related losses with severe affects on the economy.

He was addressing stakeholders of the 8th Agribusiness Fair meeting in Nairobi to discuss the 2010 event to be held at Nakuru’s Rift Valley Institute of Science & Technology between September 16th to 18th. The Fair’s theme is Agribusiness and Climate Change: Our Climate, Our Future.

While quoting the Economics of Climate Change- Kenya, 2009 by the Stockholm Environment Institute, Mr. Ndanshau said droughts that have affected Kenya between 2000- 2010 are estimated to have cost the Kenyan economy Sh314.6 billion.

He said climate change was poised to significantly affect Kenya with an anticipated 3 percent  loss of GDP annually between now and 2030.

The Expert said periodic floods and droughts were responsible for major macro-economic costs and reductions in economic growth due to increases in energy requirements and a rise in the cost of doing business.

Others who addressed the meeting were the CEO of Bidco Ltd and immediate former chairman of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers Mr. Vimal Shah, the chairman of the 8th Agribusiness Fair Mr. Nick Hutchinson, and representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Cereal Growers Association, the College as well as farmers representatives.

The 8th Agribusiness Fair will seek to highlight the impact of changing climatic patterns on agribusiness and the economy and the challenges of increasing agricultural production and maintaining profits in agribusiness in the face of changing climatic patterns.

Mr Hutchinson called on the business sector to take advantage of the Fair to explore investment opportunities in the greater Rift Valley. Sponsorship for the Fair is pegged at between Sh30,000 to Sh60,000.

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