, MAUA, Meru, Mar 1 – President Uhuru Kenyatta today gave the strongest hint that miraa could soon benefit from funds set aside by the Government to promote cash crops.
He said the National Assembly passed a Bill categorizing miraa as a cash crop.
“The Bill is now in the Senate for approval before presidential assent,” President Kenyatta said.
The President was addressing a capacity-packed Maua Stadium in Maua town before he issued title deeds to residents as he concluded his two-day working visit in Meru County. Maua is the largest town in the Nyambene region, the epicenter of miraa growing in Kenya.
The crop has recently faced challenges, especially following its ban in the European markets. But President Kenyatta said the Government is committed to assisting miraa farmers, including looking for markets in other regions.
He also said that the Government has no problem lifting the ban on transporting miraa at night so long as it is not used to perpetuate crime.
“Those transporting miraa at night must assure us that they will not use it as a channel to traffic illicit weapons and bring in illegal immigrants,” President Kenyatta said.
The President directed the Ministries of Infrastructure and Water – whose Cabinet Secretaries were present – to set aside funds in their budgets to upgrade Maua town. He said expansion of the town will attract more investors and create employment for the youth.
“A title deed for your land is your right,” President Kenyatta – who had earlier in the day issued title deeds at Mutuati in Igembe North and Maili Tatu in Igembe Central – told the jubilant land owners.
The President’s message at the various stops he made to acknowledge greetings from thousands of waving citizens was development outlining roads, health, electricity, irrigation, water and education projects.
President Kenyatta said insecurity along the Igembe North/Isiolo border will be resolved as surveyors have been sent to the area.
“More police officers will also be posted along the common border where communities have been fighting for several years leading to death and disruption of economic activities. The conflicts also contributed to cattle rustling,” President Kenyatta said.
The President was accompanied by Governor Peter Munya, Senator Kiraitu Murungi and local leaders who called for construction of roads and dams to promote economic activities in the region.
The Head of State reiterated his call to all Jubilee parties to unite and work together for accelerated development.
He commended Governor Munya for supporting the national Government’s efforts to boost the health sector, saying what is important is to improve on the lives of Kenyans.
President Kenyatta also thanked Tigania East MP Mpuru Aburi for working with the Government even he was elected on an ODM ticket.
Senator Kiraitu said the region wants a “special relationship” with the Government and they will support it.