Rural Investments to Accelerate Growth and Poverty Reduction in Kenya
"Kenya’s economy is relatively diverse, with both agricultural and industrial potential. However, the economy has performed poorly over the last decade, and poverty and inequality have risen. This paper examines the impact of alternative growth paths and rural investments on poverty using an economy-wide model. It finds that if Kenya continues along its current growth path, its economy will have to grow by more than 10 percent per year over the coming decade to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving poverty by 2015. Therefore, Kenya must search for alternative sources of poverty-reducing growth. The results of the model indicate that poverty is unlikely to decline significantly without an acceleration of agricultural growth. Growth in agriculture is found to benefit both urban and rural households, whereas industry-led growth benefits a smaller segment of the urban population, thus exacerbating inequality. Kenya’s current Economic Recovery Strategy, however, is not optimistic about agriculture’s growth potential, focusing more heavily on industry-led growth. Therefore, as Kenya prepares its new national strategy, the country should place greater emphasis on and direct resources toward accelerating agricultural growth."