Kenya is on the cusp of a remarkable achievement in agriculture as the country prepares to harvest a surplus grain this year.
Speaking at a thanksgiving service in Kisii’s Nyanturago Stadium, President William Ruto expressed his optimism about the country’s maize farming prospects and the potential for a record-breaking harvest season.
Ruto attributed this hopeful outlook to the government’s ambitious plan to increase maize production in the country. He highlighted the availability of affordable fertilisers as a key factor contributing to the positive results. Encouraging farmers to seize this opportunity, Ruto urged them to take advantage of the government’s efforts to distribute more bags of fertiliser, with the aim of achieving a bountiful harvest during the upcoming season.
Proudly sharing the progress made, President Ruto informed the audience that the government had already released 4 million bags of fertiliser. He expressed confidence that this year’s harvest would surpass the 44 million bags produced the previous year, with a goal of reaching an impressive 66 million bags. Ruto further emphasized that experts had confirmed the promising yield, stating that this year’s harvest had the potential to be Kenya’s best in history.
President Ruto’s determination to address Kenya’s food security challenges played a central role in formulating this plan. He acknowledged the shame the nation has experienced due to increasing hunger cases and pledged to put an end to this problem. By supporting local food production, Ruto emphasized the significant financial benefits to the government. Investing in agriculture and achieving self-sufficiency in grain production would save millions of shillings that would otherwise be spent on importing food from foreign nations.
The strides being made in Kenya’s agricultural sector are not without their challenges. Factors such as climate change, inadequate access to credit for farmers, and the threat of pests and diseases continue to pose significant hurdles. However, President Ruto expressed confidence that the government’s efforts, combined with the resilience and hard work of Kenyan farmers, would overcome these obstacles and pave the way for a successful harvest season.
In a bold statement, President Ruto declared his aim to double the production of food crops in the country. He questioned the need for spending Ksh.500 billion annually to borrow food that can be grown domestically. With a determination to eliminate the shame of hunger, President Ruto pledged to work with governors to ensure that food is produced in every sector of the nation.
It is indeed a troubling statistic that, 60 years after gaining independence, Kenya is still plagued by hunger. The reliance on borrowing food only perpetuates this problem and stifles the country’s progress. By focusing on increasing food production, President Ruto aims to break this cycle and uplift the nation.
To achieve this ambitious goal, several strategies have been put in place. One notable initiative is the E-voucher System, which was launched in March. This system was desigpned to ensure traceability and accountability in the distribution process of subsidized fertilizer. With an e-voucher generated upon registration, farmers can access bags of fertilizer from designated National Cereals Produce Board or Kenya National Trading Corporation stores. The attendant validates the voucher and the fertilizer is handed over to the farmer upon payment.
The commitment of the Ministry of Agriculture is evident in their plan to supply over 300,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer during the long rains. This effort aims to enhance crop yields and overall productivity. So far, over 1,104,774 50kg bags of fertilizer have been distributed, an indication of the progress being made.
Increasing food production is not just a matter of politicians making promises. It requires the active participation and dedication of farmers across the country. Thankfully, the farmers of Kenya are ready and willing to embrace this endeavor. They understand the importance of their role in ensuring food security for the nation. By producing more food crops, they are not only contributing to the reduction of hunger but also empowering their communities and boosting the economy.
Doubling the production of food crops in Kenya is not a small feat. It requires significant investment and coordination among various stakeholders. However, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. With increased food production, Kenya will be able to reduce its reliance on foreign aid and borrowing. This monetary saving can then be redirected towards other developmental projects, such as infrastructure, education, and healthcare.