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BY DPPS,30TH JUNE 2018-The Deputy President says the government will ensure ready market for green grams grown by Tharaka Nithi and Meru residents.
Speaking during a tour on Saturday, Ruto announced that Sh100 million was set aside in this financial year that will also go towards fencing Meru National Park.
Ruto said they will work with Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki, who is also chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, to ensure the problem is solved.
Ruto also announced that the government will soon add green grams to the country’s strategic grain reserves as a measure to meet domestic and foreign needs.
He said farmers will be supported in boosting their earnings from the protein-rich crop.
The DP said a meeting of leaders from Makueni, Kitui and Tharaka Nithi will take place on Sunday. They will meet officials from the ministries of Devolution, Agriculture, Security and Public Service to implement the plan.
Ruto said the government will treat green grams as it does maize, which is budgeted for every year.
“We also have an agreement with the Indian government, which has assured us of a market. The huge demand for this crop in the Asian market also calls for us to boost our production.”
Regarding electricity supply, the DP said Sh600 million will be used for phases two and three of the Last Mile Connectivity programme for the sake of the Big Four Agenda on manufacturing.
He reported supply to 26,0000 homes, up from 11,000 in 2013.
Ruto told parents in the county to send their children to the “complete, equipped and working” technical training institutions to help the government end the shortage of artisans, plumbers, masons and electricians.
“The new policy is that all students joining TTIs will benefit from higher education loans and bursaries, just like those joining universities,” he said in the county where he inspected development projects.
The DP further spoke of a major dam in Tharaka Nithi. He said the government was still negotiating with development partners on the project whose estimated cost is Sh26 billion. The goal is to end the water shortage in the area.
Ruto asked leaders to focus their energies on development instead of engaging in politics round the clock.
“The time for politics is now behind us. Let’s concentrate on activities that concern the citizens and which need our attention because we are through with issues of competition, politics and elections.”
He added: “Elections will be there in another five years but for now let’s implement the promises we made to the electorate during the last election.”
The Deputy President officiated the ground breaking of Kamaguna Secondary School, launched Keeria- Magutuni-Kathwana road and laid the foundation stone for Kenya Medical Training College, Chuka hospital.
Leaders who accompanied him thanked the government for its commitment to solving their problems, citing improved agricultural activities due to better roads.
Governor Muthomi Njuki noted the importance of markets for green grams for farmers’ sake and the need for a solution to human-animal conflicts.
In his address, Senator Kithure Kindiki warned lazy road contractors of the cancellation of sacking.
MPs Gitonga Murugara (Tharaka) and Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) noted that Ruto has been launching projects that resulted from promises by Jubilee Party.
“Jubilee’s direction is development, nothing else,” Kuria said.