The World Bank is forecasting a slow growth of 1.5 percent this year in Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy persist.

Assuming that the pandemic is contained, it is predicted that the growth would rebound to around 5.6 percent.  However, the lingering locust invasion, potential for a drought and lingering weather-related issues such as the floods affecting 29 counties pose as reservations to the Bank’s predictions.

The Bank’s predictions and reservations come just a day after the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection projected Kenya’s growth to 2.5 percent this year, down from the 5.4 percent recorded last year.

The pandemic has slashed the demand for Kenya’s agricultural exports, brought the tourism sector to its knees and is expected to not greatly benefit from remittance inflows.

The Agriculture ministry has launched KSh1.5-billion programme to protect tea and coffee farmers from exploitation and to safeguard the sectors.

The programme targets eight counties that account for 70 percent of the country’s coffee exports and is funded in part by the World Bank.