Farmers in North Rift hope Ruto keeps promises

President-elect William Ruto. [Standard]

After days of campaigns and anxiety, normalcy has resumed in the North Rift region.

Business operations resumed even after the Monday evening jubilations in most urban centres after Deputy President William Ruto was declared president-elect by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati.

Businesspeople and farmers are now looking forward to the rolling out of the Kenya Kwanza manifesto.

“After intense celebrations on Monday, locals are back to their normal activities and we have a lot of expectations that Kenyans will be economically empowered once the president-elect takes over,” said Samuel Seronei, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry  Nandi branch chairman.

“We are waiting for the promised packages to support small and medium enterprises.”

Titus Koiyet, the Eldoret municipality manager, said the election of Dr Ruto as the fifth president is a boon for the town and the region.

“Eldoret is his home town and the process of its elevation into the country’s fifth city has already started under the Urban Areas and Cities Act, 2011. It will be the second in the region after Nakuru,” he said.

“We expect an economic growth driven by agriculture, manufacturing, education, hospitality and medical services among others.”

Willy Kirwa, a dairy farmer in Uasin Gishu, said he expects the new government to address issues of subsidies on farm inputs, expand processing plants for value addition and find more markets.

A cereals producer from Kosachei the county, Thomas Bowen, said he was hopeful the next administration will address challenges that have dogged farmers over the years.

“I expect him (Ruto) to ensure that operational costs are lowered to enable farmers across the country to produce food for both domestic use and surplus for the external market. We expect Strategic Food Reserves (SFRs) will be replenished to secure the country’s food needs and end reliance on imports,” he said.

He said the country is a signatory to many treaties, including the 2003 Moputo protocol that requires the allocation of 10 per cent of the annual budget to agriculture.

“It is my expectation that Ruto’s administration will implement and ensure the sector becomes more sustainable. Thousands of Kenyan jobless youths would benefit if agribusiness is enhanced through affordable credits and establishment of industries for value addition,” said Mr Boen.

Mary Goreti Ruto, an MCA-elect, said the Deputy President's win was an inspiration.

“As residents of Uasin Gishu, we are glad that we natured Dr Ruto by giving him three straight terms as MP for Eldoret North Constituency until the country recognised his leadership,” she said.