Preident Uhuru Kenyatta's Speech During the 2013 a.S.K. Nairobi International Trade Fair, Jamhuri Park Showground, Nairobi

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Preident Uhuru Kenyatta's Speech during the 2013 A.S.K. Nairobi International Trade Fair, Jamhuri Park Showground, Nairobi, 2nd October, 2013
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  SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY HON. UHURU KENYATTA, C.G.H.,PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OFTHE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE 2013 A.S.K. NAIROBIINTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR, JAMHURI PARK SHOWGROUND,NAIROBI, 2 ND OCTOBER, 2013 Ladies and Gentlemen,It gives me great pleasure to join you at the 2013 Nairobi International Trade Fair. I thankthe Agricultural Society of Kenya and other stakeholders who participated in this year'sshow. A large number of local and international exhibitors are here. The Trade Fair hascertainly grown in stature, improved its standard and become a world-class agricultureand trade exposition.It therefore affords an opportunity for all agri-business actors to interact and beempowered. A lot of learning will take place at this event, and everyone will benefit fromthe opportunities produced by stakeholder contact and exchange of knowledge. I inviteall our international exhibitors and visitors to feel at home and enjoy Kenyan hospitalityas they go about their business at this Trade Fair.At the same time, I encourage Kenyan participants to embrace the chance offered in thisevent to learn more, and take their agribusiness enterprises to the next level. This Fairincorporates aspects of cross-sectoral collaboration as well as regional integration andinternational interaction. It is a unique space where every participant is a beneficiary, andno one loses.I also thank the Society for the choice of this year's theme: Enhancing Technology andIndustry for Food Security and National Growth . It enunciates the national aspirationcomprised in the Kenya Vision 2030, as well as the Jubilee Government's of integratingscience and technology into agricultural production and trade to accelerate prosperity.By focusing national attention on these important ideas in each exhibition throughoutthe year, the Agricultural Society of Kenya has done well for itself, and for our country. Iencourage you to sustain debate on this subject to promote economic growth.Food security employment creation and economic growth are my Government's keypriorities. Agribusiness offers tremendous opportunity to realise these goals. We are of one mind as a nation that rain-fed, subsistence, manual farming, coupled with reducingarable area and environmental degradation pose significant challenges. It renders ourcommunities unable to feed themselves, and produces very little surplus to generateincomes. Gainful employment then becomes difficult to secure for meaningful numberswithin the sector.My Government has made specific commitments regarding Agriculture, ICT, Industry andNational transformation. These commitments have to be anchored in a sound policy andlegislative framework to accelerate industrialisation and economic transformation. Theenactment of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority Act, 2013 (AFFA) provides thelegislative foundation.Rapid growth in agribusiness: research-supported, technology-based, value-addedproduction will expand employment and investment opportunities throughout Kenya.Our strategies encompass both ASALs as well as traditional producers. We intend toleave no region behind. The potential of all regions of Kenya has been profiled andrationalised. By expanding the scale of agribusiness activity as well as increasing its  diversity, we aim to make everyone in Kenya a producer and employer, and transformKenya into a continental bread basket. Mechanisation and irrigation will increase acreageof production. The livestock value chain is diversified to include cattle, goat and cameldairy, beef ranching, poultry, rabbit, bee and fish farming and their industrial by-products.A broader prism of crop production, entailing traditional high-value crops as well as keycereal and horticultural production, will increase opportunities for agricultural activity.This diversification will ensure that the agricultural potential of every region of thiscountry is fully unlocked. The specific initiatives in this regard include the IrrigationMaster Plan whose implementation will bring additional 1 million acres of land underirrigation within the next 5 years. Government has established the Fertilizer and SeedDevelopment Fund with an initial investment of Kshs 5 billion, which will be escalated toKshs. 20 billion, with a long term view of establishing a fertiliser manufacturing plant inthe country.Budgetary support for agriculture has been stepped up to comply with the MaputoDeclaration. My Government will continue to attract and direct private sector investmentin agribusiness to increase funding even further.To mitigate environmental degradation and climate change, the Jubilee Government willwork towards attaining 10% tree cover. The National Action Plan on Climate Change willavail the framework for long-term responses to the threats of climate change.Additionally, the Agriculture Sector Development Strategy provides a platform for publicand private sector collaborations in eliminating challenges in the sector. Moreover, theASAL-based Livestock and Rural Livelihoods Support Project (ALLPRO) has rehabilitated39 water pans, 120 shallow wells and 8 boreholes to water animals as well as AnimalHealth Laboratories to reduce disease detection time and increase capacity to avertoutbreaks. A camel mini-dairy plant is also being installed in Garissa under ALLPRO.Our tea farmers have sustained a quality that has registered continually increasedearnings and stimulated demand in emerging foreign markets. Coffee has managed toimprove production by 13.5%, even though land under it declined by 45%. To enhance thetwo crop sub-sectors, my Government will implement the Land Policy while availingincentives for the pursuit of value-addition, enhanced productivity and export to newmarkets.Cane delivery to mills increased by 3% in 2012, contributing to a 4% increase in sugarproduction. There are substantial concerns about the sub-sector's competitiveness. Itherefore urge sugar industry stakeholders to take urgent measures to enhanceefficiency at every point of the sugar value chain. This is important since failure toimprove efficiency and competitiveness will result to the relative under-development inthe sugar producing regions of the country. As I have had occasion to state, the Jubileetransformation will not allow anyone to be left behind.I commend the exceptional synergy among horticultural sector producers which tookadvantage of legal and institutional support to achieve a significant growth in production.The cooperation between major value chain players on the one hand, and theHorticultural Crops Development Authority, as well as the Kenya Plant HealthInspectorate on the other hand, led to considerably increased production, export andearnings in the sector. Hongera.The dairy sub-sector continues to increase employment opportunities and earnings, yearafter year. Between 2011 and 2012, milk production increased by 10.6%, leading to a22% increase in earnings. Even so, its potential is far from exhausted. I thereforeencourage Kenyans throughout the country to take advantage of this money-maker.  There is support from my Government for Artificial Insemination services, cottage valueaddition as well as feed ration formulation.Over one and half million additional beef cattle were raised between 2011 and 2012,resulting in an increase in beef production of 125,000 metric tonnes. My Government isgoing to set up abattoirs strategically throughout the country to maximise on productionand minimise losses during periods of harsh climate. I encourage farmers to exploit thepotential offered by unsatisfied domestic demand as well as the export market. 80% of beef production is ASAL-based. On its part, my Government will support productionthrough development infrastructure and quality assurance, establishment of disease-freezones, rehabilitation of livestock holding grounds, reseeding of denuded range lands aswell as the construction of water storage facilities.Pig and poultry production continues to grow each year. Local and international demandfor fish is also rising. We have potential of 1.4 million hectares for fish farming toproduce 450,000 metric tonnes of fish. Only 2,000 hectares are in use. About 50,000 fishponds have been constructed in 160 constituencies under the Economic StimulusProgramme. This has raised aquaculture by over 400%.Those who have embraced fish farming are very satisfied farmers. You can see theopportunity for yourselves. Please embrace it. Fish processing technology at LakeTurkana has enabled our fish access regional markets. Our Indian Ocean Economic Zoneis yet to be fully utilised. But we are working hard to change that situation. Offshoreresearch and patrol will strengthen ocean resource governance, while accreditedanalytical laboratories will support the Directorate of Fish Quality Assurance andMarketing to enhance productivity. This will create the necessary environment forinvestors to immerse themselves in large-scale, quality marine fish production. I invitestakeholders to keenly study this opportunity and strike when the iron is still hot.The agricultural sector is not complete without mention of the cooperative sector. 10.1million cooperators subscribe to 13,250 organisations with a share capital of about Kshs230 billion, which also represents the cooperators' savings. By any account, thecooperative movement is a significant driver of our economy in all sectors, not least of all,Agriculture. My Government will continue to strengthen and support the cooperativemovement to enhance confidence and encourage more members to join.My Government has embarked on various infrastructure projects whose cumulativeeffect is to accelerate regional integration, open up previously marginalised areas andimprove national connectivity. The result is expected to be expanded investment andproduction throughout the country. The LAPSSET Transport Corridor, connecting LamuPort-South Sudan-Ethiopia through Northern Kenya promises to transform Kenya'seconomic landscape. The standard-gauge railway connecting the Port of Mombasa toRwanda through Uganda is another such transformative infrastructural initiative.Moreover, funds have been devolved to enable county governments improve farm gate-to-market connectivity to reduce agricultural production costs.The opportunities in agriculture, and its transformation into a purely commercial activityentailing the use of technology are opportunities for young people. I urge the youth totake full advantage of them. My Government has enhanced institutional and financialsupport for youth enterprise. This extends to farming. We want to see more youngKenyans employing themselves and others, and earning meaningful incomes fromagriculture. The promise is evident, and the reward certain.Once again, I thank the organisers of this Fair, and all those who have made time to comeand benefit from the array of knowledge and opportunity on offer. May you each have afruitful outing and prosperous agribusiness and industrial enterprise.  I declare the 2013 ASK Nairobi International Trade Fair officially open.Thank you, and God bless you.
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