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Nairobi
February 8, 2023
Food production Irrigation

President Ruto unveils plans to end cycle of hunger

MASHUJAA DAY CELEBRATIONS

Speaking during the Mashujaa Day celebrations in Nairobi County, the President said this is among measures the government will undertake to end perpetual cycle of hunger and reduce dependency on rain-fed agriculture.

The President said his administration is already working on a investment mechanism that will see 100 dams constructed across the country to place at least 3 million acres of land under irrigation in the long-term.

“In the next three years, the government plans to double the land under irrigation to 1.4 million acres. Of these, 200,000 acres will be under rice irrigation and 500,000 under other food crops,” said President Ruto.

Among targeted lands to be prioritised for rice irrigation include Bunyala, Tana Delta, Rohole in Garissa County, Mwea and Ahero.

Farmers across the country have been battling high prices of inputs such as seeds and fertiliser which has seen Kenya suffer a deficit of 10 million bags of maize.

Last month, the government announced the importation of 1.5 million bags of fertiliser used to subsidize prices by Ksh 3500 per 50kg bag from Ksh 6,500 to farmers for the short rain season.

According to the President, the fertiliser subsidy will also be availed during long rain season.

“We have also made arrangements to make another 6 million bags of various types of fertiliser available for the lomg rains season. We have also asked county governments to work with us on last-mile delivery to centres close to farmers,” added President Ruto.

In order to ensure long-term stability of fertiliser prices which have recently been hurt by the war in Ukraine, Kenya also plans to collaborate with other East African Community (EAC) countries in manufacturing the commodity locally.

The government is also targeting to work with local research institutions and private institutions to scale multiplication of various seeds.

Dairy farmers are also expected to benefit in the plans to turn around agriculture sector to boost food security and higher returns.

The government has committed to commence distribution of 650 milk coolers to farmers across the country to reduce losses occasioned by lack of storage facilities.

The President said these intervention will secure Kenya’s food security given that his administration has identified agriculture sector as the lead sector for economic transformation given its potential for high and quick returns.

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