Kenyan economy less dependent on agriculture than previously thought: Economic Survey

Kenyan economy less dependent on agriculture than previously thought: Economic Survey
Carren Onyango, Collines Otieno (Lucky), Lower Nyando - Kisumu County. Greenpeace Africa. Building environmental resilience: farmers adapting to climate change in Kenya, East Africa. Photographer: Cheryl-Samantha Owen

The Kenyan economy is less dependent on its agriculture sector than previously thought, the 2021 Economic Survey published on Thursday has revealed.

The survey which contains a re-based data set shows the share of agriculture to the economic cake sits at 23 per cent as of the end of 2020 and at 21.2 per cent in 2019.

In contrast, pre-rebased GDP data covering 2019 shows the agriculture sector contributed to 34.1 per cent of the total value of economic output.

The adjustment shows the agriculture sector which covers the growing of crops, animal production, forestry and fishing shows the industry is about one fifth of the economy and non a third as had been the case.

The GDP by activity data further shows other sectors have a higher or lower contribution to the economy following the adoption of 2016 as the Economic Survey’s base year.

For instance, transport and storage as a share of the economy is 11.7 per cent and not 8.5 per cent while real estate is 9.2 per cent of the economy and not 6.9 per cent.

Other economic sectors with a greater contribution than previously thought include construction, wholesale and retail trade, financial & insurance activities and ICT.

The sectors of public administration and defense and taxes on products like agriculture recorded a decline in their contribution to the economy.

The education sector meanwhile had an unchanged share of the economy at 4.2 per cent.

The Kenyan economy is now bigger by Ksh.515.29 billion that previously thought with nominal GDP at 10.256 trillion in 2019 (re-based) versus Ksh.9.74 trillion.

Despite the rebasing GDP per capita- the value of the economy shared to every Kenyan fell by 2.5 per cent to Ksh.179,022 from Ksh.183.664.

GDP per capita pre-rebasing is however lower in 2019 at Ksh.106,244. The data however deploys real GDP (Ksh.8.174 trillion) as opposed to nominal GDP ( real GDP value + inflation) at Ksh.10.753 trillion.

The country’s less dependency on agriculture means that the country is able to weather the storm from catastrophe to the sector including drought, flooding and other ‘acts of god’.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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