President Uhuru Kenyatta has advised the youth to embrace technology-driven agriculture instead of waiting for the elusive ‘white collar’ jobs that are diminishing by the day.
Speaking Friday when he opened this year’s ASK Nyeri National Show at Kabiruini Showground, the President said that agriculture had the potential to provide millions of decent jobs to young people.
“We must not always look for white collar jobs. We need to refocus ourselves to agriculture to provide decent employment,” the President said.
He urged county government to create incentives that would encourage the youth to engage in agriculture.
The President said county governments should partner with universities to ensure farmers access new agricultural innovations that will boost productivity.
“Our universities are doing a lot of innovations in the agricultural sector that can help increase production and also support value addition. Farmers should be facilitated to access this technology,” the President said.
President Kenyatta assured farmers that the Government, on its part, is working with stakeholders to resolve the challenges facing the coffee and tea sectors.
He said the Government has embarked on an aggressive campaign to market Kenyan tea for the benefit of farmers, emphasizing the need for value addition instead of exporting raw agricultural produce.
“We are working to expand our markets and our farmers to increase the varieties of tea so that we can sell more in the international markets,” President Kenyatta said.
To boost tea and coffee production, the President said the Government will extend provision of subsidized fertilizer to the sector.
He said the Government has stepped up supply of electricity in the rural areas to support value addition, saying the move will help to secure more jobs for the youth.
As Government puts in place initiatives that will accelerate the country’s economic growth, the President urged leaders countrywide to go slow on politics.
He said rising the political temperature in the country will not help to address the electorates’ needs.
“Wananchi expect their leaders to implement development projects that will improve their lives but not to engage in endless politicking which is counter-productive,” he said.
He said leaders from across the political divide must join hands to create a conducive environment that will attract investors who will create jobs for the country’s young people.
“We must work together for the benefit of all Kenyans,” President Kenyatta said.
Leaders including Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua and former legislators Kalembe Ndile and Mark Too castigated those calling for a referendum, saying they should get their priorities right instead of misleading Kenyans into a ‘path of destruction’.
The leaders said the funds that would be used for a referendum could go a long way in implementing development that would help improve lives of Kenyans.
Speaking during the occasion, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Kosgei said his ministry has set aside Sh 150 million for a dam project in Kieni constituency to boost irrigation.
The Cabinet Secretary assured that the Ministry will continue working with county governments to ensure the country is food secure.