Real Estate threatening Agricultural land.

Vision 2030 is the grandiose dream crafted by technocrats detailing how Kenya is meant to develop into a middle income economy providing high quality life to its citizens.So far we have not achieved much of what the plan envisages and we have just 19 years left.

Anyone who has been following the real estate boon in the economy will have noticed that property business seems to be all the rage now.Every Kenyan wants to own a home and astute businessmen are quickly cashing in on these and buying out previously fertile agricultural land and turning it into thriving concrete neighborhoods .

There is no better example of this than along Thika road where with the promise of a super highway ,the quintessential Kenyan obsession for plots have tripled the price of land on either side of the highway.Along the Nakuru Eldoret highway starting from the area jut after Kiamunyi in Nakuru,residential estates have sprouted on land that was previously used as grazing ground for cattle.One wonders if the government is really keen on the plight of the Kenyan farmers and how the country expects to feed the one million new mouths being added onto the population yearly.People in Rongai once a bustling ground for wildlife no longer find it strange to bump into lions lazily snoring away in the middle of the road as they drive out of their compounds.If the government is unable to control development in wildlife areas which are a major tourist attraction how much hope is there for the farmer whose daily life of toil and hardship is hardly ever headline news.

In the online publication of new agriculturist the Dr Romano Kiome the PS of Agriculture was quoted as saying that “as individuals and big investors take advantage of the expansion of infrastructure, the sudden shift in land use could result in the disappearance of productive agricultural lands which could in turn affect food security and economic growth, as well as derail the revival of agricultural business industries.”

The government needs to act fast and implement policies that safeguard agricultural land while promoting development in land that is not agriculturally viable.If this does not happen then in a few years we will have a Kenya full of concrete,beautiful houses,landscaped gardens and great but one that cannot feed itself.

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