SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, HON. UHURU KENYATTA C.G.H., PRESIDENT ANDCOMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYADURING THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY OF KENYA,NAKURU NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL SHOW, FRIDAY, 5
Ladies and Gentlemen,I am pleased to join you all for the official opening of the 2013 Agricultural Society of KenyaNakuru National Show.The theme of this year’s show is “Enhancing Technology and Industry for Food Security andNational Growth”. This theme is a reflection of the important role technology can play inagriculture, industry and more importantly in enhancing food security.Indeed, the theme is consistent with the Jubilee Government’s aspiration and aim of promoting agribusiness as a significant driver in the realization of Vision 2030. In thisregard, my Government will focus on promoting technological development in agricultureas one of the takeoff points towards making this Vision a reality.I, therefore, call upon farmers and all other stakeholders to focus on moving our agriculturefrom subsistence to commercial farming. I am confident that through the development of avibrant agro-based industry,we shall be able to not only ensure food security but also attainand sustain double-digit economic growth rates. We must now transform our farmingenterprises from producers of primary raw materials to producers of value added productsthat are ready for consumption.Ladies and Gentlemen,Agriculture remains the backbone of our economy. Indeed, the sector is expected to play akey role in delivering the 10 percent annual economic growth rate envisaged under theeconomic pillar of Kenya Vision 2030. It is encouraging to note that over the last 10 years,the sector has made remarkable progress, achieving an impressive average growth rate of 5.6 percent despite challenges of frequent and severe droughts. Moreover, overall foodinsecurity in the country has been reduced from 56 percent to less than 35 percent of thepopulation currently.In spite of this progress, challenges remain. Indeed, a substantial number of our peopleremain exposed to food insecurity and malnutrition. Additionally, a large proportion of ourfarmers still operate at the subsistence level and are impoverished. More importantly, weremain producers of raw products and our agriculture remains largely rain-fed and istherefore vulnerable to erratic weather conditions.As I stated during my inauguration earlier this year, my Government will focus onaddressing these challenges in order to promote agriculture not only as a means of economic development but also as a means of eradicating hunger and poverty among therural people who depend on the sector. In this regard, the Government will focus on keyinterventions that will improve production and value addition.