Ruto commits to fix dairy sector woes

President William Ruto speaking in Nanyuki, Laikipia County. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

President William Ruto vowed to address the challenges facing the dairy sector as he commissioned a New Kenya Co-operative Creameries (KCC) plant in Nyahururu on Wednesday.

He also directed KCC to pay milk farmers Sh50 a litre from March this year and to ensure prices stability.

“From July 1, farmers will be paid every 15 days. This is how we will eliminate milk hawking which arises when farmers are not paid for two to three months,” Ruto said. 

Ruto said his recent visit to India has resulted in a significant boost to the country's agricultural sector and revealed that Kenya has successfully secured Sh37 billion in funding, which will be used to support the mechanization of agriculture and improvement of KCC.

"During my visit to India I engaged in productive discussions with Indian officials, exploring avenues for collaboration in improving agriculture and making KCC efficient so that farmers can benefit from agriculture," he said

The President announced that the government has allocated additional resources to the Kenya Co-operative Creameries (KCC), which aims to expedite payment processing, reducing the waiting time for farmers from two months to just one month.

"We have allocated enough resources to KCC so that farmers can receive their payments after one month, by June this year we want all farmers to get paid after 15 days," he said

President Ruto also launched the construction of Ngobit-Withare-Lamuria-Ngobit Girls and Kihara Primary Schools Roads at Lamuria Ngareng'iro and commissioned the New KCC Nyahururu Plant, Ruto.

Ruto has maintained the housing levy projects will proceed as planned regardless of the court outcome in the suit challenging the legality of the levy.

The president's comments hint at the possibility of his administration going against the decision of the court should the decision go against their will.

This came as the president commissioned an affordable housing project in Nanyuki and expressed optimism about transforming the country's economy.

"As a country, we are lagging in terms of development due to poor leadership, vested interest, and corruption, we promised Kenyans to bring development to the country we shall not allow corruption to hold us hostage," he said.

He stated that despite an impending court decision on January 26, which will ultimately determine the fate of the controversial housing levy, implementation of the planned projects would proceed.

The president renewed his criticisms against the Judiciary and vowed to kick out corrupt individuals he claimed are sabotaging the government's agenda.

"With the affordable housing program, we shall build over 200,000 houses which will create employment for over one million youths in the country. Those opposing the program have jobs," he said.

He claimed that the Judiciary is teaming up with his political rivals to sabotage the government's agendas.

"I have to ensure that Kenya is propelled toward development and I will not let corruption pull us back. I will do whatever it takes to defend the rights of the people who have no jobs. I will do whatever it takes to ensure those who don’t have health insurance get one. It is their right,” he said.

President Ruto also defended his travels abroad, stating that he intended to seek potential investors who could contribute to the country's development.

"I have been out of the country to look for investors who will bring tangible benefits to the nation, when we took over the government we had so many debts we had to look for solutions on how to repay the debts, we have made plans that are going to help us pay our debts," he said.

He added that his government has successful implementation of the competence-based curriculum (CBC) and he highlighted the employment of additional teachers, as recommended by the Presidential Working Party on Education, as a crucial factor contributing to the effectiveness of the curriculum.

"I want to assure parents that their children's education will flourish thanks to the teachers employed by the Kenya Kwanza administration, they are the key to our nation's future, to address concerns about the shortage of teachers affecting the success of the CBC, the Kenya Kwanza administration has taken significant steps by employing over 56,000 teachers thereby bridging the teacher-pupil ratio," he said. 

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who had accompanied the President, highlighted the significance of a new program aimed at benefiting unemployed youth in Laikipia.

"I urge the contractors, to prioritize hiring local youth and ensure they receive timely payments to empower the youth in the region," he said.