Kenya smallholder tea farmers earn Sh63.6 billion from tea exports
Revolution in agriculture coming, says President Uhuru Kenyatta
By FT News Writer and PPS
The Government will initiate an agricultural revolution that will transform farming in the country into a commercial enterprise.
President Uhuru kenyatta says although Kenyan farmers make meagre profits from their labour, the committed to ensure all farmers irrespective of landholding make a decent income out of agricultural activity.
He said the Government would transform agriculture from a modest subsistence affair of minimal prospects into an enterprise presenting diverse opportunities in finance, investment, processing, trade and other commercial services besides traditional farm work.
“Our Jubilee Government lays great emphasis on commercial farming in order to ensure we help our farmers adopt modern farming technologies and that they have equipment and fertilizers that enable them move away from subsistence farming and eradicate poverty,” said the President in Mombasa.
He said strategies for achieving this agenda include expanding access to finance, stabilising farm input prices and enhancing availability, mechanising agriculture and increasing arable land in the country by initiating irrigation schemes.
“As a Government we have started irrigation projects the greatest of which lie in Tana River County and other areas of the Coast region,” he said.
“If we open more land for irrigation and move away from rain fed farming, we will achieve food security on a consistent basis.”
He said the Government will complement the strategies by directing private investment in the sector through the provision of appropriate incentives as well as intensifying value-addition for all sectors such as livestock, fisheries and agro-forestry.
President Kenyatta said integration of the East African region would provide a sizeable market for the regions’ products and services, attract investment and create employment for the youth.
“We will have a market that is sizeable, a market that can attract investment, a market that can help us create the much needed employment. This is the road we want to take,” he said.
He said the East African Community states should unite to establish joint value addition processing plants for tea, coffee and other crops in order to compete in the world markets and avoid exploitative tendencies of global traders and middlemen.
He praised the decision reached yesterday to allow free movement of goods, services and people within the East African Community member states of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.