President William Ruto will on Saturday, August 5, 2023, embark on a five-day tour of Central Kenya with a basket of goodies for the agriculturally rich region.
The president, through State House spokesman Hussein Mohamed, has announced that his administration has released delayed funds to the dairy sector to ensure that farmers in the region earn more money from their produce.
Addressing journalists at Sagana State Lodge in Mathira, Nyeri County on Friday, Mr Mohamed outlined Dr Ruto's five-day programme in the region, which includes launching new projects, meeting the local leadership, hosting an interdenominational prayer service, engaging residents and chairing a Cabinet meeting.
“The government has successfully unlocked the delayed funding (of) US$82 million (Sh11.7 billion) from the government of Poland. The funds will be channelled towards mechanisation, provision of coolers to farmers across the country, establishment of liquid nitrogen plants, facilitating access to cheaper artificial insemination services and improvement of the dairy products. This ambitious programme will be actualised within the next two or three months,” Mr Mohamed said.
In Kenya's Kwanza manifesto, President Ruto pledged that his administration would ensure that the country exports one billion litres of milk a year, creating 5,000 jobs.
Returns to farmers
The government aims to establish aggregation and industrial parks in all 47 counties, which will play a pivotal role in market linkages for all agricultural value chains and increase returns to farmers.
Mr Mohamed said the government had so far disbursed 454,168 bags of fertiliser in Nyeri, Murang'a, Kiambu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Nyandarua and Laikipia counties at Sh1.5 billion.
“The fertiliser covered various value chains including tea, coffee, rice among others. The President continues to urge the uptake of this fertiliser that has been subsidised to Sh2,500 down from Sh7,000,” Mr Hussein said.
The government has assured that the Sh1.3 billion Naromoru Water Dam project will be completed to serve 8,000 households in Kieni Constituency and mitigate the effects of drought.
“Feasibility study and preliminary designs of the Naromoru water dam project have been done and its commencement will kick off upon the award of the contract. All the projects that the President had promised in this region are on course and will be completed,” Mr Mohamed said.
The Head of State will kick off the development tour from Githurai in Kiambu County where he will commission the Githurai Water Supply Project, which is expected to provide 5,000 cubic metres of water per day to over 8,400 residents.
On Saturday, he will commission the Kagio water supply project in Kirinyaga County and later commission the upgrading of the 42.5-kilometre Marua-Kwa Wambui road in Mathira, Nyeri County. He will also hold a meet-the-people tour in Karatina town.
On Sunday, Dr Ruto will attend an inter-denominational prayer service at Sagana State Lodge and later chair a meeting with leaders from the Mt Kenya region.
On Monday, the President will commission the Ichamara-Kariti road upgrade in Mukurwe-ini and the Kaigonji and Othaya water projects in Tetu.
Later in the day, he will open a bus park terminus in Nyeri town to ease traffic congestion.
On Tuesday, Dr Ruto will chair a Cabinet meeting at Sagana State Lodge, open the new Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) plant in Kiganjo and later host a special conference with regional leaders at Sagana State Lodge.
On Wednesday, he will open a 175-bed level four hospital in Naromoru and officiate at the groundbreaking of the Gichugu affordable housing project in Kirinyaga County.
Dr Ruto will conclude the tour by officiating at the groundbreaking of another affordable housing project in Thika, Kiambu County before returning to State House in Nairobi.