We will allow farming in forests to address food shortage – Gachagua
Citizens will now be able to farm in forests after Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua announced that the government had given a nod to the decision in a bid to boost food production.
Speaking during Deputy Governor Charles Kipng'ok's funeral on Saturday, September 24, 2022, the DP noted that the new directive would help actualize the plan of enhancing maize production and in turn boosting production.
"Tumetoa order, wananchi wapewe nafasi walime msitu ndio tuongeze chakula kwa kenya. Iko haja gni kukataza watu kulima mahindi halafu tunatoa mahindi ng'ambo?"
While addressing the rise in maize flour prices, Gachagua highlighted that the government's decision to scrape off unga subsidy and grant fertilizer subsidies was the best way to enhance sufficient maize production which will consequently lower the cost of unga prices across the country.
He opined that continuous Unga subsidy was weakening the country's fragile economy.
Gachagua pledges to discharge mandate
Gachagua maintained that the new administration would be committed to delivering and discharging its mandate to Kenyans.
He affirmed that together with his boss President William Ruto, they were fully committed to working for the Kenyan people since they have no pending responsibilities.
"Sisi sio walevi, tumemaliza kusomesha watoto, hatuendi golf, yetu ni kazi kuanzia asubuhi mpaka usiku, na nliwaambia kazi itafanyika,"
This loosely translates to:
"We are not drunkards, we have finished educating our children, we do not play golf, ours is to work from morning to night time, we told you we will do our work," he stated.
He also highlighted that Ruto would focus on serious matters such as attending official trips, and matters concerning the economy as he(Gachagua) attends to trivial matters such as cattle theft.
"William Ruto tumemuachia kazi ya uchumi, kazi ya kutafuta pesa, tumemuachia kazi ya kuenda ng'ambo an kutafuta wawekezajii walete pesa Kenya. Hii kazi ndogo ndogo ya wizi ya ng'ombe hiyo ni kazi ya Rigathi Gachagua," he added.
For the past few weeks, a section of Kenyans took to social and mainstream media to decry the rising cost of living.
This is after the new administration scraped the Unga subsidy terming it unsustainable, they pledged to invest in producers to enhance sustainability and production.
"We are not going to be subsidizing consumption. That is why we are going slow on the matter of subsidizing consumption. We are going to work and support producers," he said while addressing a Kenya Kwanza parliamentary group meeting in Naivasha on Saturday," President Ruto stated at the time.
"The Unga subsidy that was done, I was being briefed by the Ministry of Agriculture for one month, the taxpayer was asked to pay Ksh7 billion for the unga that cost Ksh100 which was nowhere in the first place. Only a few people laid hold of it. If we had spent Ksh7 billion shillings in fertilizer it would have been a different ball game." he added.
Gachagua flags consignment of fertilizer
Gachagua on Thursday, September 22, 2022, flagged a consignment of subsidized fertilizer to various parts of the country.
Speaking during a presser, Gachagua announced that the government had released Ksh3.55 billion for the fertilizer subsidy kitty adding that the Ruto-led administration had availed 1.4 million bags of 50kg fertilizer to farmers across the country.
He additionally stated that the new review would lower the cost of DAP fertilizer to Ksh3,500 from Ksh7,000, CAN to 2,875, NPK 3,275, MOP 1,775, UREA, 3,500 and Sulphate of Ammonia 2,220.
The quantity availed was expected to support the cultivation of approximately 1.4 million acres.
"The national treasury has availed Ksh3.55billion, under this program, the government through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB)will make available 1.4million bags of 50Kg of fertilizer to farmers during the ongoing short rains season and prices as tabulated,
"I appeal to farmers in the regions that are receiving short rains to reach out to the local National Cereals and Produce Board depots and sub-depots to access the required fertilizer," he stated.