Irrigation the way to go to end hunger, says Ruto

President William Ruto (centre) opens Bura Irrigation and Settlement Scheme rehabilitation project in Tana River County. [PCS]

President William Ruto has said irrigated agriculture remains key to reduction of poverty and attainment of food security in the country.

Speaking as he opened Bura Irrigation and Settlement Scheme rehabilitation project in Tana River County, the President said interventions aimed at increasing water availability for livelihood and domestic activities have great potential to transform lives of rural communities through farming.

Ruto said his administration will continue to improve access to water for irrigation through construction of dams and water pans across the country.

“Our investment in processing and value addition is meant to reduce post-harvest losses, eliminate brokers and encourage youth to pursue farming by availing a ready market and guaranteed returns,” said President Ruto.

The rehabilitation of Bura Irrigation Scheme will increase the land under cultivation from 12,000 to 25,000 acres.

While at Galole, the President commissioned the Integrated Fruit Processing Plant, which will boost earnings of fruit farmers in the region.

The facility has created 200 employment opportunities and has trained over 1,000 farmers on good agricultural practices.

He also issued Fisheries Community Grant Cheques to support the fishing community in Tana River County.

The Head of State asked parents in the region  to ensure their children get access to  education, saying it was the greatest equaliser in the society.

“It is our responsibility to plan for the employment of our youth. That’s why we are creating opportunities in the blue economy,  housing,  digital and value addition chains for their benefit,” he said.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who accompanied the President said the government was committed to transform lives of Kenyans in arid areas by initiating irrigation projects.

He said President Ruto’s administration will empower Kenyans by providing conducive environment for investments.

“It’s time leaders forget about issues of the last election and support the government for the sake of development,” said Mr Gachagua.

Tana River Governor Godhana Dhadho said infrastructure projects initiated by the national government will unlock the county’s potential and transform the lives of the citizens.

Defense Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale urged  leaders in the region to take the lead in the fight against terrorism and other acts of lawlessness.

He said the government was committed to addressing insecurity ocassioned by incidents of terrorism.

“We have one common enemy,  the Al- Shabab. We must work together to eliminate this menace,” said Mr Duale.

Earlier in Lamu County,  President Ruto said every part of Kenya deserves to be developed.

He said the government’s renewed focus on the construction and upgrading of infrastructure will open up remote and marginalised areas for business, exposing more Kenyans to opportunities.

“Our goal is to build a more prosperous and more equal country,” he said.

He spoke at  Kizingitini where he launched the construction of 50-tilometre Mtangawanda, Faza, Kizingitini and access roads that will unlock the island’s potential and boost security.

The President also opened the Lamu East Technical and Vocational College that will equip the youth with technical competence to drive the country’s transformation agenda.