Jobs in agriculture sector are the least paid, according to new survey by asset management group ICEA Lion.
This is a major factor that may be discouraging more youth to engage in farming, despite growing demand for food.
“We are dealing with very basic commodities and fail to handle the full value chain. I would challenge one to trace the movement of the coffee berry from when its picked to when it lands in your cup, despite the fact that we grow it, what percentage comes to as in terms of its final pricing,” posed ICEA Lion Chief Executive Officer Einstein Kihanda.
In spite of holding the majority share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 34.2 percent in 2018, agriculture only held a mere 12 percent of all formal jobs.
“We have spoken about the lack of competitiveness in the sector, lack of access to markets and intermediaries and the lack of value addition,” said CEA Research Analyst Judd Murigi.
Average wage earnings in agriculture within the public sector have only risen by an average 23 percent in five years on the back of a formal jobs growth of less than one percent over the period.
Private sector the average employee in agriculture took home an average Sh14,389 every month in 2018. In the public sector, the average agriculture based role paid out remunerations totaling Sh18,631 every month.
“The government needs to do a couple of things such as engage in public-private sector partnerships and address the structural challenges like lack of value addition. there is also challenges of high cost of energy, lack of access to markets and up-scaling workforce in the sector,” said Murigi.
Other sectors that face low wages include Education, trade, Public Administration and health.