Ruto urges Governors to allocate more funds to agriculture
Deputy President William Ruto has asked Governors to allocate more resources towards mechanization of the agricultural sector in the counties so as to increase productivity and quality of products.
The Deputy President said the only way to make agriculture profitable and attract the youth is through mechanization and modernization.
He observed that increased quality of agricultural products will make the country competitive in the international market.
“I have seen many county governments across the country have invested heavily on mechanization, I want to tell them that is the way to go,” said the Deputy President.
“It is not possible to transform this nation unless we transform the agricultural sector through modernization.”
The Deputy President was speaking at the Kenya School of Government during a consultative meeting with Governors and Members of Parliament on modernization of the agricultural sector.
Key stakeholders in the sector including Cabinet Secretary Agriculture Willy Bett, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and county government agriculture executives also attended the meeting.
The Deputy President asked Governors to invest in value addition of agricultural products, especially those that are highly perishable, a move that will increase quality of local products.
“I want to encourage our counties to focus on value addition of all our products,” he said.
Ruto said the Government will support counties implement the mechanization program.
“We want to enhance capacity of agriculture mechanization services, we want to have more tractors available to farmers to hire whenever they want to prepare land,” he said.
The Deputy President said the government is also considering a program where farmers can buy tractors on a long-term lease or subsidize the cost of tractors to make them accessible to farmers so that they can adopt mechanization.
“We will not be able to export agricultural products if we continue to use oxen to plough land,” stated Ruto.
Ruto said agriculture was devolved so that management of agriculture is closer to citizens.
He said modernization of agriculture will create room for creativity and innovation which will attract the youth.
The Deputy President said the government has embarked on improving the storage facilities at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
He said the government is also investing in Artificial Insemination, embryo transplant and milk cooling equipment to improve quality of dairy products.
Bett called for an increase in budget allocation for the ministry to reflect the significance of the sector.
He said the total expenditure in agriculture must be 10 percent of the budget.
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