We’ve extended relief to farmers in all sectors, President says

MURANGA, (PSCU) – President Uhuru Kenyatta today said his administration has extended relief to farmers across the board to boost production, refuting claims by the opposition that some sectors are favoured more than others.

The President pointed out that his administration’s focus on serving all Kenyans equitably has not left out any sector of agriculture unattended.

“My administration has ensured that farmers in all sectors benefit from our efforts to improve agriculture contrary to the propaganda peddled by the opposition that some areas are more favoured than others,” President Kenyatta said.

The President spoke on Wednesday in Muranga County when he made several stops to address and rally residents to give him and his Jubilee team a second term to build on the transformational foundation he has laid down in the last four years.

He said sugarcane farmers are among those who have benefitted from his administration’s initiatives, citing Mumias Sugar Company which the Government revived by injecting Kshs 3.1 billion.

In addition, President Kenyatta last week when he addressed a public rally at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega announced that the Government has allocated Kshs 500 million to pay cane farmers in Mumias.

The President – who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto and other Jubilee leaders – took issue with opposition leader Raila Odinga for misleading Kenyans that the Government was only waiving debts for coffee and tea farmers, saying it was wrong to misrepresent of facts.

“When he (Raila) says we have waived debts for coffee and tea farmers, he should also say what we have done for the benefit of sugarcane and livestock farmers among others,” President Kenyatta said.

He added: “Yes, we waived debts for coffee and tea farmers but similar waivers have been extended to farmers of other crops, such as sugarcane to help increase productivity and transform lives.”

Last year, Mumias Sugar Company received a Kshs 1.1 billion bail-out from the Government for its restructuring plan.

The Head of State said he also wrote off the debt fisherfolk in Budalangi owed the Agricultural Finance Corporation when he recently visited area.

The President also spoke of his administration’s effort to revive cotton farming where he said plans were afoot to introduce new seeds that will improve production of the crop for the benefit of cotton farmers across the country.

He said already Rivatex has been revived and measures have been taken to revive other textile factories.

“Once we revive all textile factories, the next step will be to revive cotton ginneries for the benefit of cotton farmers,” President Kenyatta said.

For maize farmers, the benefits the Jubilee Government has extended include subsidizing the cost of fertilizer from Kshs 6000 to Kshs 1800 for a 50 kilogram bag with plans to further bring down the price of the key farm input to Kshs 1200 by December this year.

On livestock production, President Kenyatta said he launched four Government initiatives aimed at cushioning Kenyans, especially pastoralists, from the affects of severe drought.

These including the Kenya Livestock Insurance Program (KLIP) – the first of its kind in East Africa and Africa – which will ensure that pastoralists can restock even after they lose their livestock through drought.

Other programs include the introduction of a new oil-based foot and mouth disease (FMD) vaccine which will protect livestock from the disease, the enhanced Livestock off-take exercise as well as the cash transfer program.

To support dairy farming, the Jubilee Government has installed 48 milk coolers nationally for improved milk marketing at a cost of Kshs 350 million, set up a new Kshs 400 million artificial insemination station in Kitale as well as revived collapsed Kenya Cooperative Creameries factories among other initiatives.

President Kenyatta asked Muranga residents to come out in large numbers on August 8 to vote for Jubilee so that the transformation journey the country has embarked on will not be derailed by the opposition.

“We want to ensure we win by 70 plus one and to achieve that, you have to come out in large numbers to vote,” President Kenyatta said

Deputy President Ruto urged the residents to support Jubilee, saying it was the only party committed to uniting and developing the country.

“While we are building bridges to we unite all Kenyans, the opposition is creating building walls and boundaries to divide people,” the Deputy President pointed out, saying the opposition has lost direction.

The President and his deputy wrap up their intensive meet-the-people tour that saw them make more than 20 stops by addressing a massive public rally at Ihura Stadium in Muranga town.

Earlier while addressing residents along the way to Muranga town, President Kenyatta censured opposition leader Raila Odinga for dividing Kenyans along tribal lines.

Deputy President Ruto asked the opposition leader to stop politicizing Kenya’s military, saying they are highly professional and their reputation should not be tainted by selfish politicians.