Search for Savings & Loans
No Degree Degree/Diploma, No Agro-shop Business - Money Weekly
News and Analysis

No Degree Degree/Diploma, No Agro-shop Business - Money Weekly

A farmer at a Agro-shop in Kenya verifies maize seeds before purchase. PHOTO | mPedigree |
A farmer at a Agro-shop in Kenya verifies maize seeds before purchase. PHOTO | mPedigree |

It is that time of the week again when we look at the news headlines over the last seven days and dissect those that can affect your money. 

Welcome to yet another edition of Money Weekly.

This week:

  • There is a bill in parliament seeking to introduce regulations requiring agricultural professionals to be registered and licensed.
  • The exchequer is under pressure to raise Ksh1.53 trillion in the remaining period to June 2024, to finance the 2023/24 fiscal budget.
  • High interest rates are expected to dampen credit growth in the private sector as the year progresses.
  • Nema’s new directives to ban the use of plastic bags for the collection of organic waste are likely to increase costs for consumers.
  • Digital lenders plead for the removal of 20% excise duty saying it is making credit inaccessible to those at the bottom of the pyramid.

For this and much more. Let’s dive in.

Agricultural Professionals Will Need Licence in New Bill 

Agricultural professionals might be required to get a licence if the Agricultural Professionals Registration and Licensing Bill, 2024, is passed by the National Assembly.


  • According to the bill, an agricultural professional is anyone who holds a degree, diploma, or certificate in an agricultural specialty from a recognised institution.
  • Agricultural specialties include: crop production, horticulture, plant breeding, seed technology, agronomy, botany, crop science, food science, agricultural economics, agribusiness, floriculture, biotechnology, soil & water engineering, and agroforestry.

The bill makes it illegal to: 

  • Practise as an agricultural professional without a licence, subject to a fine not less than Ksh1 million, imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.
  • Engage in private practice (where one is due to receive the fees, charges, and/or profits in their individual venture or in partnership) without a licence. 

The bill also requires that one have a degree diploma or certificate in an agricultural course to be legally allowed to engage in the business of selling farm inputs such as seeds and fertilisers. If found operating without the requisite certification, the bill proposes a fine of Ksh200,000 and a jail term of two years. 

Being employed by the government, a state corporation, or private institution is not considered private practice.

Nonetheless, these institutions are required to only employ agricultural professionals who are registered and licensed by the Agricultural Professional Registration and Licensing Board. 

Any person in charge of an agricultural institution or organisation who employs an unregistered agricultural professional faces a fine not exceeding Ksh1 million, an imprisonment term not exceeding five years or both.

The practising certificate will be renewed annually and will be valid from the day of award to the last day of December of the same year. An application for renewal must be made at least 30 days before the end of the validity period. 

In Just 3 Months, Treasury Must Raise Ksh1.5 Trillion

The Treasury is due to raise Ksh1.58 trillion in the three months ending June 2024, to fully finance the 2023/24 fiscal year budget that totals Ksh4.28 trillion .

In the nine months to March 2024, the exchequer had raised Ksh2.7 trillion. This means that with only three months to go, 36.9% of the current financial year’s budget (or Ksh1.58 trillion) has not been raised yet.

The Ksh2.7 trillion has been raised from Ksh1.53 trillion in taxes, Ksh1.1 trillion in domestic and external borrowing and Ksh52 billion in non tax receipts.

Of note is that the Ksh1.53 trillion raised in the nine months from taxes still falls short of the targeted amount by Ksh336.80 billion, despite a 10.7% rise in tax collection compared to the same period in the 2022/23 financial year.

To meet the deficit, the exchequer targets to raise Ksh960.7 billion from tax revenues and Ksh590.8 billion from domestic and external borrowing.

Meanwhile Kenya is seeking a sovereign loan guarantee from the United States of America (USA) to enable it to access financing from international markets at markedly lower rates.

High Interest Rates Impact Private Sector Borrowers

Credit growth to the private sector is expected to slow due to high lending rates prevailing in the market. 

A survey conducted by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), which targeted senior officers, including chief executives of 354 private sector firms, shows:

  • 62% of respondents expect slower private sector credit growth and tight credit underwriting.
  • 70% of the respondents expect support to private sector credit growth due to lower inflation, better economic sentiments, favourable foreign exchange environment and favourable weather conditions.
  • 82% of the respondents expect high cost of credit due to high cost of living, high interest rate and a possible increase in the same.

Meanwhile, after signalling the peak in interest rates in the latest bond auction, where the apex bank left Ksh12.1 billion on the table on account of being too expensive, CBK is under pressure to raise Ksh369 billion to pay debt maturities in May and June.

The latest average bids on bonds stood at 16.99% against the average investor demand of 17.14%.

New Nema Directive to Impact Cost of Garbage Collection

The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has issued a directive banning the use of plastic bags for the collection of organic waste. The directive will be effective after 90 days from the announcement date, April 8.

This is likely to increase the cost of garbage collection. Currently, garbage collectors supply their customers with garbage bags that they use to collect their household waste. These bags were exempt from the initial ban that was announced in 2017 banning single use plastics.

Garbage collectors will now be forced to use biodegradable garbage bags, which are more expensive than plastic ones. This cost will likely be transferred to the consumer.

Digital Lenders’ Tax Plea to Parliament

Digital lenders are asking Parliament to repeal the 20% excise duty on loans. The lenders argue that the duty increases the cost of credit, hence rendering some borrowers at the bottom of the economic pyramid incapable of accessing the loan facilities.

These assertions are supported by the latest analysis of the financial sector tax regime by Deloitte and Touche.

"It [the excise duty] could also reduce returns on investment and exacerbate the default problem, as borrowers find it more expensive to repay short-term loans,'' warns Deloitte & Touche. 

According to Digital Financial Services Association chairperson Kevin Mutiso, the excise duty makes it difficult for digital lenders to compete against digital lending platforms owned by commercial banks, since they are only charged interest on fees.

The challenge with the excise duty is further exacerbated by the fact that the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) requires same day remittance upon disbursement.

For example, if a lender extends a Ksh1,000 facility, they have to remit Ksh200 to the KRA within the same day. This strains the lender's operating capital and is made worse by the increasing loan defaults, digital lenders argue. 

Other Major News

NCBA Revises Interest Upwards:

NCBA Bank Kenya has upped its lending rate by a percentage for shilling-denominated loans and three quarters of a percent for dollar-denominated loans. Hence, interest on shilling-denominated loans has jumped from 16.5% to 17.5%, while that of dollar-denominated loans has jumped from 11% to 11.75%.

These changes spare borrowers with fixed-rate loan facilities, as they will only apply to facilities that have variable rates starting May 21.

“Fake Fertiliser” Compensation

The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has initiated plans to compensate farmers who bought substandard fertiliser under the fertiliser subsidy program.

Affected farmers are required to file a formal complaint by filling out a Claim Declaration Form, which they can access from the depot or selling centre where they bought the fertiliser from.

They should go with:

  • An original ID
  • Proof of purchase
  • Sample of fertiliser if it has not yet been used.

Kenya Freelancer Charges Among World’s Cheapest

Despite dedicated efforts by the government to increase access to online work by Kenyan youth, Kenyan freelancers are still among the cheapest in the world. 

According to a study by Bookipi - an invoicing software firm - the average price for a freelance job in Kenya is about Ksh15,000 compared to other top countries such as Australia, which is about Ksh80,000 and India, which is Ksh66,700.

The study ranked Kenya ninth among the lowest charging freelancers. Other African countries included in the study whose charges are higher than Kenya’s include Tunisia, South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria, with Morocco leading the way with an average cost of Ksh53,500 per job.

Other News in a Snapshot

Mitumba From China: Demand for second hand clothes imported from China continues to grow. In the first three months of 2024, data from Chinese authorities shows that Kenya imported second hand clothes valued at Ksh3.03 billion compared to Ksh2.768 billion in the same period last year. 

Coffee Reforms Bring Rifts:  The implementation of the new coffee reforms has brought about differences among the coffee farmers. The grievances of the farmers are expressed through their lobby groups, the Kenya Coffee Producers Association (KCPA) and the National Coffee Cooperative Union Limited (Naccu). KCPA complains that the reforms have led to delays in payments to the farmers for sales dating back to December 2023, while Naccu insists that the farmers they represent are a living testament to the success of the reforms.

Kenya Power EVs Plan: Kenya Power plans to invest Ksh258 million in the next three years, buying electric vehicles (EVs) and installing associated infrastructure. The latest development is the newly built Ksh6.5 million two charger station at its headquarters in Parklands, Nairobi. The electricity distributor also has another station in Ruaraka and plans to install 9 more in Nairobi (Electricity House, Roysambu, Donholm, and Ragati), Eldoret, Kisumu, Mtito Andei, Mombasa, and Nakuru.

Electric Motorbikes Uptake: M-Kopa has partnered with Bolt to facilitate the rollout of over 5,000 electric motorbikes in the next three years. The partnership will see M-Kopa injecting over Ksh1.34 billion into its East African operations to increase the uptake of electric motorcycles. Through the partnership, Bolt’s existing and new drivers will lease these motorcycles at discounted prices. The partnership is expected to lower the cost of owning a motorbike by 40% compared to petrol motorbikes.

Illegal Courier Operations: The Communication Authority (CA) has, in a notice, cautioned unlicensed matatu operators and e-commerce firms offering courier services. As of January 2023,  CA had issued 261 international postal and courier licences. Operating without the required licence exposes one to penalties of up to Ksh300,000, one year in jail or both.

EPZs Seek Wage Increase Exemption: Apparel factories within the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) have shed 11,000 jobs after the 2022 minimum wage review. The 2022 review increased the minimum wage by 12% to Ksh15,201. The apparel factories are seeking to be exempted from these wage increases and levies arguing they make them uncompetitive. This, the EPZs say, has led them to lose clients to Uganda and Tanzania and, hence, have been forced to shed 22% of their work force since October 2022.

Crypto Regulation: The cryptocurrency phenomenon could potentially expose consumers to fraud and scam related activities because Kenya does not yet have a regulatory framework in place. However, this is about to change as the government has put together a multi-agency technical working group to develop a regulatory and monitoring framework for both virtual assets (VAs) and virtual asset service providers (VASPs). Cryptocurrencies are considered virtual assets.

No items found.

Stephen Kimani aka KIMSpeaks is a thought leader, speaker, and writer. He is also the Founder of Living the DREAM. He is passionate about learning and teaching ideas that empower people to improve the quality of their lives. You can connect with Kimani on LinkedIn.

Get the Money254 App and don't miss out on the next article.

Join 1.5M Kenyans using Money254 to find better loans, savings accounts, and money tips today.

Get it on Google Play
A person holds the Money254 App in their hand.

Welcome to Money254 - your simple way to compare loans in Kenya online.

Money 254 is a new platform focused on helping you make more out of the money you have. We've created a simple, fast and secure way to find and compare financial products that best match your needs. All of the information shown is from products available at established financial institutions that our team of experts has tirelessly collected.

Download the new Money254 App and don’t miss out on the next article.

Join 1.5M Kenyans using Money254 to find better loans, savings accounts, and money tips today.
Get it on Google Play

Learn more about Personal Loans available in Kenya on Money254

Money 254 is a new platform focused on helping you make more out of the money you have. We've created a simple, fast and secure way to find and compare financial products that best match your needs. All of the information shown is from products available at established financial institutions that our team of experts has tirelessly collected.

Instantly search loan products from established providers in Kenya and compare on the terms that matter most to you.
Find the best Personal Loans for me

Don't miss another article - download the new Money254 App Today

Get it on Google Play
Download the Money254 app on Google Playstore

Sign up for our newsletter and get weekly money tips to your inbox.

Get updates from the Money254 team on financial news and new Money254 features.