President Ruto Assures Kenya Will Achieve Food Self-Sufficiency in 10 Years

January 11, 2024

On Wednesday, while laying the foundation stone for the Nanyuki Affordable Housing Project, President William Ruto reassured Kenyans that the country would stop importing food within the next 10 years.

Emphasizing Kenya’s need to achieve food production sufficiency, the president highlighted the goal of saving on import costs within the next five years.

President Ruto said the country currently spends approximately Sh500 billion on annual food imports. He reiterated that his government is actively working to enhance production and transition to complete reliance on the country’s agricultural capabilities.

We are spending almost Sh500 billion every year to import food from other countries. In 5 years, we want to reduce the margin from Sh500 billion to Sh250 billion and in 10 years, we will no longer be importing any food, we will be producing our own,” the President said.

President Ruto highlighted his administration’s commitment to subsidizing fertilizer, ensuring affordable access for farmers to enhance their production.

40% Increase in Harvest

He also announced that this year, the country anticipates a 40% increase in harvests compared to the previous year.

“The only way to lower the cost of living and increase food production is to help farmers produce more food to get rid of famine,” he said.

“We reduced fertiliser prices and one bag that was costing Sh7000 is now going at Sh2500 …We are also lucky that this year we have gotten 40% more harvest than the last year.”

The president at the same time pledged to tackle the challenges faced by dairy farmers, particularly addressing issues of poor and delayed payments. He announced that the State had secured a Sh37 billion boost from India to mechanize production and enhance overall productivity.

Eradicate Dairy Farming Cartels

Ruto also announced that the government, in collaboration with the Kenya Co-operative Creameries (KCC), would eradicate cartels and guarantee that dairy farmers receive their payments within 15 days, starting in June.

We agreed to work together with India to help in food production and they gave us Sh37 billion. We will use the money on the dairy industry to help KCC to reduce costs and be much more efficient,” he said.

“Saa hizi mkulima analipwa Sh45  yule ananunua maziwa analipa Sh120, kati ya 45 na 120, hii pesa ingine hapa katikati inaenda kwa nani? (“Right now, the farmer is paid Sh45, and the one buying the milk pays Sh120. Between the Sh45 and Sh120, who is benefiting from this additional money in the middle?”) the President wondered.

He further stated, “I have instructed KCC to put an end to the practice of paying farmers after two months. We aim to ensure farmers receive their payments within one month. Starting from June this year, farmers will be paid every 15 days, allowing them to purchase animal feeds and attend to other necessities.”

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