Published as FARA Research Report Volume 5 No: 11 (2020).
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This report provides an assessment of the ICT infrastructure, the enabling regulatory framework and the state of deployment of ICT services in agriculture by various service providers in Kenya. On infrastructure, Kenya is served by the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy), the East African Marine System (TEAMS), the Lower Indian Ocean Network 2 (Lion II) and Seacom cables. The cables provide high speed internet connectivity ranging from 193 to 2,840 gigabytes per second (GBPS) and comprises a bundle of glass threads each of which is capable of transmitting messages modulated into light waves. On land, the country is served by six major terrestrial broadband providers, namely: Safaricom, Liquid Telecoms, Internet Services (IS), Telkom Kenya, Jamii Telecom and Wananchi Online. Safaricom has the highest coverage and is closely followed by Liquid Telcoms and Telkom. In addition, Kenya has a National Optic Fibre Backbone Initiative (NOFBI) which is a joint venture between Kenya and Chinese governments, with the aim of connecting all national and county government agencies.
The study established that the government of Kenya and the private sector have heavily invested in ICT, especially in the provision of support infrastructure. However, information on levels of access to various networks, such wireless access and connections, was scanty and, therefore, needs further studies. It is clear that ICT is recognized as a major enabler in both national and sectoral policies and strategies. However, this has not been experienced in the agricultural sector, due to lack of specific policy, legal and institutional frameworks to support the sector’s peculiarities, including conservatism and risk aversion.