Speech by H.E. Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua, EBS during the launch of the agricultural subsidy program in Machakos County.
"Today marks a departure from the torments of hunger and confusion that have plagued our people of Machakos for many years. Never again will we allow our children to sleep hungry. Our mothers to queue for food relief and youth to scavenge because of lack of a daily meal. There are countries in the world that receive less rain than we do; lands that are patched with poor soils and uninhabitable climates and yet the sons and daughters of these countries do not depend on food relief or die of hunger.
Our people have suffered under the yoke of poverty and starvation, not just because of failed rains, but because of poor planning and shameful organization. It is indeed, a shame, for any leader to sleep soundly while a child lies awake with an empty stomach.
Today in Machakos, we have started changing that because it is our duty to take care of the children of God. Dependence only on rain-fed agriculture is not a wise thing. However, even as we plan for irrigation programs, we need to maximize on what God has given us. I am pleased to launch the subsidy program I promised while campaigning to be Governor. It is a comprehensive food security programme:
One, we have purchased 40 tractors that will plough farms free of charge so as to expand the amount of land under cultivation, so that even when rains are poor, we still have ample harvest. We will increase the number of tractors to 120 in the subsequent financial years.
Two, farmers will get free seed and subsidized fertilizer to support their planting. We are employing 40 Extension Officers and 40 Animal Health Assistants to train farmers on modern farming techniques and desirable crops to plant
Three, to ensure that there is always food in every home, Machakos residents, especially the youth, will be given free chicks (tuswii) and trained how to take care of them. Then, my Government will purchase the grown chicken and eggs and market them. We have already identified markets in Kenya, our East African Region, India and China and expect to provide two million chicks to farmers in the next six months, starting from today. Youth do not have to sit at bus stops chewing miraa. They can now tend to the chicken and my Government will buy grown kienyeji chicken from them so that they have money in their pocket for their livelihood.
Four, we are constructing silos so as to properly store food and ensure we curb aflotoxins.
I know I have spoken for long today. But this is because I know the pains of sleeping hungry, the grumbling of the stomach and slowing of the brain because of lack of food.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have to end the cycle of hunger and food relief in our region. This is just, but a beginning, in our program to alleviate poverty and create wealth. Our people are in Intensive Care Unit. These programs will move them to the general ward on the path to freedom from poverty. It is our role as leaders not to think about ourselves but to spend every waking moment strategizing and actioning projects to help our people. God has blessed us, let us maximize on his blessings. Thanks and God bless you."
October, 29, 2013, Kithimani, Yatta, Machakos, Kenya.
Category: Food security: Farming, Food industry, Livestock
Location: Machakos, Kenya