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CS Linturi pledges to make farming pay after opening Kitale Show

 CS Mithika Linturi inpects maize varities during the opening of the North Rift National Agricultural Show in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi has promised to make farming a profitable venture, enhance production to boost food security.

The CS spoke Saturday during his first official event at the opening of the North Rift National Agricultural Show in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County.

He lauded various agricultural stands including Kenya Seed Company (KSC) and urged Kenyans to collaborate with Kenya Kwanza government to improve food production.

He said the challenge of food security would be won if Kenyans work with the government. He said the Kenya Kwanza government is committed to supporting farmers improve production through affordable farm inputs and reduced fertiliser prices.

He asked Kenyans to join the journey and be patient as the government institutes measures to address costs of food. "Kenya is moving towards food security and I am asking citizens to join us realise the food sufficient agenda. I will do my best to partner with devolved units and support farmers access affordable farm inputs such as seeds and fertiliser," said Linturi.

He said food insecurity is recipe for crime, adding that Kenya Kwanza agenda is to ensure availability of enough food to feed the entire population.

The CS was accompanied by Trans Nzoia Deputy governor Philomena Bineah, MPs Maurice Bisau (Kiminini), Robert Pokuse (Endebess), Lilian Chebet (Woman Rep) and Allan Chesang (Senator).

 CS Mithika Linturi (right) at a stall during the North Rift National Agricultural Show in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

Linturi said there was enough seed maize at KSC for next year's planting season.

"I have visited Kenya Seed Company and I am impressed with the management led by MD Fred Oloibe. I assure our farmers that we have enough seeds for the next planting season," he said.

He explained the government's programme to make agriculture a low cost venture to boost food production and reduced food prices.

He said the national and county governments will partner to facilitate training of farmers and equip them with useful technologies to enhance food production.

"When farmers are well equipped, there are high chances for them to increase earnings and production," he added.

He also said the government will work with counties to establish county food reserves to tame post-harvest losses.

He was however reluctant to respond to a question whether the government intends to buy this season's maize from farmers, who have already started harvesting.

On the ravaging drought in some counties, Linturi said an off-take programme to reduce loses has been launched.

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