DP Ruto: Ban on exportation of raw nuts to remain
The ban on exportation of raw macadamia is still in effect, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
Mr Ruto said the Government would not relent in enforcing the ban to protect interests of farmers and create jobs.
Ruto said the Government would firmly deal with brokers exporting raw macadamia nuts.
He said the Government wanted all macadamia produced in the country processed locally before being exported to create jobs and protect the local market.
Speaking when he commissioned the Privamnuts EPZ Kenya macadamia factory in Embu at the weekend, Ruto urged farmers to sell the nuts to local factories instead of Chinese.
“I appeal to Embu farmers to be in the forefront in supporting investor Patrick Mukundi by delivering their nuts here. He is employing 400 workers. When you sell to the Chinese, it means you are exporting 400 jobs to China. You will end up hurting yourself when your child or neighbour misses jobs,” he said.
Ruto said when he signed a notice to ban the exportation of raw nuts when he was Agriculture minister, he faced opposition and even demonstrations with claims that he was ruining the farmers' market.
“Because we refused to take unprocessed macadamia out of the country, we now have factories such as this one, which are helping a lot of Kenyans. We need to use these factories to stabilise prices,” he said.
The Deputy President said macadamia stakeholders had paid him a courtesy call and told him some Chinese were seeking to buy immature macadamia and corrupting the system to smuggle unprocessed nuts out of the country.
He said he ordered the nine Chinese deported immediately and not be allowed back into the country.
Ruto said the Government was keen on adding value to most of the agricultural produce in line with the government’s agro-processing and manufacturing agenda.
“We can’t transform this country by being a market for products produced by others. We also want to export our value added products,” he said.
Ruto commended Embu Governor Martin Wambora’s administration for starting a county coffee mill at Kavutiri. It is expected to mill and brand Embu specialty coffee for marketing to national and international buyers.
According to Mr Wambora, the mill is almost ready and will start operations early next year, with this season’s crop.
Ruto assured coffee farmers that they would get subsidised fertiliser procured by the Government.
raw macadamiaImportsEPZ KenyaEmbu Governor Martin Wambora