Expressing concern over the sale and consumption of illicit brews in Central Kenya, President Kibaki noted that the brews have led to the loss of several lives.
The President emphasised that elected leaders must also speak out on the dangers of alcoholism.
“There are also laws passed by Parliament dealing with the sale and consumption of alcohol. These laws must be strictly adhered to in all parts of the country,” President Kibaki said.
President Kibaki was speaking on Thursday when he officially opened this year’s Central Kenya Agricultural Society of Kenya National Show at the Kabiruini showground in Nyeri.
The President, at the same time, directed the Commissioner of Police to work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture to eliminate coffee theft that has become rampant and a threat to the lives of coffee dealers.
He urged farmers to increase production by adopting the recommended crop husbandry practices now that the coffee industry is profitable, saying the reforms the Government has instituted in the coffee sub-sector have yielded major gains.
“As regards coffee, earnings have increased tremendously from a paltry Sh850 million in 2006 to Sh3.8 billion last year,” President Kibaki said.
Noting that the Kenya Planters Co-operative Union (KPCU) remains at risk due to past mismanagement, President Kibaki ordered the Ministries of Co-operative Development and Agriculture to work out modalities for reviving KPCU in the next six months.
The Head of State reiterated the need to make the agricultural sector more gainful and attractive to the youth by moving up the value chain.
In this regard, President Kibaki urged farmers and business people to diversify into value addition through processing of agricultural products
“This will enable us to increase earnings and generate employment opportunities,” President Kibaki said.
The President further asked the Ministry of Youth and Sports, in collaboration with other line ministries, to sensitise the youth on the lucrative opportunities available in the agricultural sector.
He assured farmers, and the youth in particular, that the Government will continue to step up measures to ensure farming becomes a lucrative commercial activity.
President Kibaki cited the development of road infrastructure and provision of affordable electric power as some of the measures the Government has taken to boost the agricultural sector.
In this regard, the President observed that a total of 3,882 public facilities in Central Kenya are targeted for electrification by next year, adding that so far 3,286 or 85 percent of these facilities, among them 1,818 trading centers, have been connected to the national grid.
President Kibaki, however, expressed concerned about the number of road accidents in the country, saying the improved road network must never be a cause of death for Kenyans.
He, therefore, appealed to the police to deal decisively with reckless drivers who endanger the lives of their passengers.