In a highly anticipated annual State of the Nation Address, His Excellency Dr. William Samoei Ruto, C.G.H., President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces today delivered a well-articulated speech off head which was aired live on major broadcast channels from the Kenya Main Parliament Buildings in Nairobi.
Upon his arrival at Parliament grounds, the President inspected a guard of honor after which he was ushered into the National Assembly Chamber by Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Wetangula and Senate Speaker Amason Kingi where he addressed a joint Parliamentary sitting of both the National Assembly and the Senate, and other invited guests who included the Deputy President H.E Rigathi Gachagua and Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka who is the chairman of the National Dialogue committee.
“I arise before this distinguished assembly of democratically elected representatives of the people of Kenya to discharge my constitutional function under article 132 (1) (c)” announced President Ruto as he started his speech. Article 132 of the constitution of Kenya outlines the Functions of the President of Kenya.
“The journey of transforming Kenya for the benefit of current and future generations is fully undwerway,” the President said, adding that various sectors of Kenya’s endeavor have been significantly fruitful over the past one year of his presidency.
Highlighting Agriculture, President Ruto revealed that supporting this sector to prosper is one of his government’s salient strategies in dealing with the high cost of living which he acknowledged to be a real issue and not a figment of anyone’s imagination. With feedback from farmers in Kenya, he shared success stories of his government’s subsidized fertilizer which was distributed to a good number of registered farmers. Some of the farmers who spoke to the President on phone calls initiated by President Ruto himself informed him that using said fertilizer had resulted in significantly higher yields compared to previous years. Others said that the produce was of high quality with one farmer using a phrase which supposedly struck the President with confidence and reassurance, “Mr. President, shamba yangu inametameta” said the farmer Mr. Samuel Chacha of Kuria area
“We have significantly reduced the cost of fertilizer from Ksh. 6,500 to Ksh. 2,500,” stated the president, “..increased maize acreage and production by an extra 200,000 acres this year, and enhanced maize production by an additional 18 million bags this year” he added attributing the current relatively low price of maize flour to these successful efforts of his government.
“We have also established 22 new fish landing sites in Nyanza and the Coast Region.” revealed President Ruto.
To ensure the effective exploitation of this blue economy food production resource, the Kenya Kwanza government has mobilized fish farmers into cooperatives, and is developing relevant infrastructure such as hatcheries and fish processing plants.
The government has also digitized some crucial processes in the Agricultural sector. President Ruto also spoke of impressive progress in production and optimization of sugarcane, cooking oil, coffee, among other crucial cash crops, adding that post-production infrastructure is improving which affordably and conveniently supports farmers to maximize profits, and the country to ably feed its people.
This was President Ruto’s first ever State of the Nation Address since he won Kenya’s presidency in 2022’s general election taking over from his predecessor former President Uhuru Kenyatta who delivered his final annual State of The Nation Address on November 30, 2021, almost an year before the 2022 general elections.
Speaking about the debt crisis in Kenya, the president stated that we as a country had been “living large and way beyond our means” highlighting wasteful expenditure and counterproductive subsidies on production whereby he reaffirmed his confidence in his government’s approach to rid itself of avoidable debt.
“The new direction may not be easy but it is ethical, responsible, prudent, and most importantly, necessary.” said President Ruto, “We’ve had to take hard decisions and make painful choices because we owe it to the people of Kenya to do the right thing and to confront facts as they are without flinching or equivocating.”
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