BY DPPS,KISII,8TH DEC,2021-Deputy President William Ruto has entered into an agreement with Nyanza leaders on how he will improve 23 key sectors in the region if he wins elections.
Over the past two days, a brainstorming session was held at the Sentrim Hotels and Lodges, Elementeita with leaders, professionals and representatives of various groups from the Nyanza region.
The DP said that the country continues to be a net importer of sugar, yet there exists a huge opportunity in Nyanza region which is the backbone of sugar industry in the country.
“We are aware of the ongoing conversation between the national government, counties and farmers regarding the privatisation of Government-owned sugar factories. We appreciate this discussion and expect a speedy conclusion,” he said.
He said their deliberations focused on enhanced production through the provision of quality variety of seeds and inputs to farmers and processing with modern technology, which in turn will take the sector back to its growth trajectory.
Ruto also pointed out that Nyanza Region’s fish potential is about 300,000 metric tonnes. However, this has declined to less than 120,000 metric tonnes.
“Kenya is witnessing the increased importation of fish mainly from China. We need to change this trend by meeting the local demand through local production and bettering the lives of the fishing community,” he said.
Adding, “Discussion today has identified opportunities of investment around the fish value chain starting from organising fish management units to cooperatives, establishment of cold storage facilities, expansion of cage culture fishing, access to fishing gear equipment through affordable financing and countrywide promotion of fish consumption.”
On the rejuvenation of the cotton sector together with corresponding revival of KICOMI, Ruto said the revival of KICOMI and Mountex remains a priority in providing sustainable market for farmers.
The Nyanza region recognised the need for adoption of tissue culture bananas to enhance productivity, modern collection systems, storage facilities and local value addition to maximise earnings for the farmers.
On milk production, the participants appreciated the need to enhance production to make the region self-sufficient. This calls for investments around breeding, collection and cooling and enhanced extension services.
The forum also acknowledged coffee as a key source of income to most farmers. It was agreed that there is investment in accessibility of high-quality seed varieties, mini-processing and milling in the South Nyanza region.
During the meeting, it was agreed that there will be modalities to support farmers and small and micro-enterprises (MSMEs) to access credit to boost productivity.
It was resolved that there needs to be a keen on the exploitation of rice farming in the region, particularly in Ahero, Oluch-Kimira and Lower Kuja schemes.
The meeting unanimously agreed on the establishment and operationalisation of a regional financial institution which would enhance access to affordable credit which in turn will finance entrepreneurship.
They also discussed he enhancement of agricultural production in general entailing underexploited potential like tobacco, avocado, mango, sorghum, sweet potato, banana, maize, soya and sunflower, crop and animal husbandry.
On infrastructure, of priority in this area is the Lake Region Ring Road, upgrading of the Kisumu international airport cargo division.
Other sectors the DP said he will improve are energy, tourism, education and training, upgrading and modernization of the health facilities, mining, forestry, sports, creative industry, and talents development.
Others are revival and strengthening of Coffee and tea farming and modernization of factories, ICT, early childhood education, harnessing and promoting economic development programs and opportunities for special interest groups, leadership and governance, resource mobilization and social security and addressing issues of marginalization.