India provides $250 million Line of Credit to Kenya for agricultural modernisation

Kenyan President William Samoei Ruto is on a three-day visit with an aim to expand overall ties between the two countries

December 05, 2023 04:04 pm | Updated December 06, 2023 01:14 am IST - New Delhi

Kenyan President William Samoei Ruto being welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting at the Hyderabad house in New Delhi.

Kenyan President William Samoei Ruto being welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting at the Hyderabad house in New Delhi. | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

India on Tuesday extended a $250 million Line of Credit for modernisation of agriculture in Kenya. Announcing the initiative PM Modi said both sides will carry out joint military exercises and will collaborate on counter-terror projects. Welcoming the Indian initiatives, President William Samoei Ruto, described the Indian community of Kenya as a “bridge” between the two countries and said Indians residing in Kenya regard his country as their “first country”.

“As two agricultural economies, we have agreed to share experiences in this field. We have decided to extend a Line of Credit of $250 million for modernisation of the agricultural sector in Kenya. According to the needs of our times, we will increase partnership in innovation and technology,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM Modi also said that India is willing to share its experience in developing Digital Public Infrastructure with Kenya. Mr Modi also announced that Kenya has expressed interest in joining the International Solar Alliance and Global Biofuels Alliance.

The agriculture Line of Credit, officials said will be used to advance projects that will be taken up subsequently. According to a joint statement issued after the visit, Kenya has “offered, in line with Kenyan laws, to provide land to Indian companies and institutions for cultivation of crops, including millets, in Kenya.” The document mentioned that the Government of India has undertaken to encourage Indian companies to invest in the Kenyan agri sector inclusive of “equipment and technology”. “Both sides noted that enhancing bilateral agricultural cooperation would increase bilateral trade and contribute to food security in Kenya,” the Joint Statement declared.  The two sides agreed to cooperate in cyber security, anti-money laundering, small arms and light weapons, drugs and human trafficking. PM Modi and President Ruto directed the bilateral Joint Defence Coordination Committee to convene at an early date.

President Ruto said Indians have contributed to Kenya’s growth for over a century and the current relationship is grounded in the early interactions between Kenya and India. “The first Indians came to Kenya in 1911. They have participated in many fields – finance, farming, in health. Since they have become part and parcel of our nation, I want to report to you that in 2017, all the Indian nationals in Kenya were made Kenyan citizens. Today, Kenya is no longer their second home. Kenya is their first home and we celebrate them because they are a great people and they have created a bridge between Kenya and India,” said President Ruto.

Officials said the two sides discussed the case of two missing Indians who were last heard of last year at the time of the Presidential election in Kenya. A former COO of Balaji Telefilms, Zulfikar Ahmad Khan and Mohamed Zaid Sami Kidwai reportedly working for the Kenya Kwanza digital team in the run-up to the election went missing in the middle of the poll. The incident was later blamed on a disbanded Kenyan intelligence unit. Briefing the media after official talks, Indian High Commissioner to Nairobi Namgya C. Khampa said that India is tracking the case. “The High Commission continues to monitor these developments and continues to be engaged with the authorities in Kenya on this matter,” said Ms Khampa.

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