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Think long term, Kirubi challenges govt

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – Industrialist Chris Kirubi has challenged the government to invest more in farmers by subsidising farm inputs and offering assistance in marketing of produce as a way to ensure food security in the country.

Speaking on the KTN Sunrise show on Thursday morning that focussed on the Mercy Train Project, Mr Kirubi regretted that despite having suitable arable land, millions of Kenyans continued to face starvation every year.

“The biggest problem in this country is that we abandon farmers; there is no financial mechanism. (We don’t support) farmers scientifically on how to grow grains that can withstand less water,” he said.

He asked the government to make food security a top priority saying it was disheartening to see Kenyans dying of hunger yet there was a government in place.

“What is missing in all this is leadership, how to make Kenyans to feed themselves. I don’t think any government that cannot help people feed themselves has any business to claim to be in charge,” he said.

The Capital Group Chairman said it was unwise to entirely depend on rains asking the government to be innovative in its ideas to identify measures that will ensure the country has sufficient food at all times.

“We just deal with rainfall as if we have a contract with God to bring us rain,” he said.

He expressed fears that the situation in the country was extremely in danger due to the evident dry spell.

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“Right from the Northern Kenya to Nairobi, you could not tell the difference. The whole country is totally dry, the only area you could see some green were water catchment mountains and in those areas you could only see smoke, every one of them had fire burning.”

Though the country was getting support from donors, Mr Kirubi said it will not always be the case asking the government to get more organised in arresting such situations in the coming years.

Speaking on the same show Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet said the drought situation was getting worse.

On Thursday Capital FM representatives together with partners from the Standard group, Kenya Railways, Kenya Commercial Bank and Kenya Red cross will be at the Tusky’s supermarket Pioneer Branch all day receiving contributions towards a ‘feed the starving’ initiative.

Three truckloads of relief food are expected to be flagged off on Friday for distribution in the most affected areas south of Nairobi.


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