Kenya has signed an agreement for direct investments of $250 million (Sh31 billion) by UK-based United Green Group to boost food production in the country. 

Under the agreement, the group will deliver agri-fintech services for rural communities, high-productivity climate-smart farming and state-of-the-art agro-industrial facilities over the next five years, Kenya News Agency reported. 

“This is a landmark joint venture that will change the food security situation in the country significantly,” Kenya’s Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry said in a statement. 

The initiative will revive production in rice, cotton, dairy and fish sub-sectors. 

As part of the initiative, 100,000 hectares of primary farms around Lake Victoria will be integrated to create a smallholder farmer scheme to boost productivity and offer support for sustainable farming methods. 

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics data showed that the food import bill rose 18% to 183.93 billion shillings in nine months from 155.42 shillings a year earlier following a drop in local production due to an extended drought. 

(Editing by Cleofe Maceda;