Waiguru hosts Bottom-Up Economic Forum

From left Kirinyaga County Assembly Majority leader and area Senatorial Candidate Kamau Murango , Governor Anne Waiguru and the UDA's Deputy Running mate Rigathi Gachagua  during the Kirinyaga County Economic Forum held at the Kamiigua Youth Polytchinc  in Kutus town yesterday


Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru has  hosted the long awaited  Bottom-Up Economic Forum

in which local residents identified their priority economic areas of focus that they would

like captured in Kenya Kwanza’a elections manifesto.

The forum that was presided over by UDA’s Deputy President nominee Rigathi Gachagua brought

together leaders and participants from various economic sectors in the county.

Those represented included rice, coffee, tea, tomato, macadamia and fish farmers as well as

market traders, hawkers, boda boda operators, hospitality industry players and horticultural

producers among others.

Farmers from various sectors said that they would like that national government to develop

policies that will streamline the agricultural sector to ensure that the farmer becomes the major

beneficiary of their produce.

The  representatives   complained that farmers do not get to reap from their toil due

to lack of direct market for their produce which has left them at the mercy of middlemen.

They also want the incoming government to subsidize fertilizers and pesticides in order to reduce

the cost of production of their crops and also put in place policies that will grant guaranteed

minimum returns for their produce.

The issue of allowing the importation of cheap farm produce such as rice and tomatoes was also

brought up as a factor stifling the local agriculture.

Farmers asked for policies that will protectthem against such  unfair bilateral trade practices.

Mwea rice farmers lamented of high cost of  the crop  production and demanded for the abolishment

of irrigation water fee charged by Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA)  and which

they termed as exploitative.

They opposed the proposed increment of water charges to  sh 15,000 p up from Sh 3000 per

acre.

 “WARMA does not add any value to rice farmers and should be outlawed and the

management of irrigation water left to the National Irrigation Authority (NIA).” Said Ndung’u Ndegwa, a

rice famer from the Mwea Irrigation scheme said.

Gachagua assured the residents that Kenya Kwanza manifesto will be comprised of the views

collected from them noting that the Bottom up economic model was about the empowerment of

the bottom economic players to enable them contribute to the overall national economic

development.

He said that all the views collected from the residents will be captured in a binding document to

ensure that they are implemented accordingly.

Gachagua further  assured them that with him at the top, their

interests would be  well taken care of and there was no chance of being shortchanged.

The  official  also promised that the cost of fertilizers will be brought down from the current Ksh. 6,000 toKsh. 2,000 by December 2022 if Deputy President William Ruto is elected the next president.

He also promised that the Kenya Kwanza government will resume the construction of all the

stalled roads in the county immediately it assumes office.

Gachagua thanked the residents for turning out in big numbers to participate in the forum adding

that the Bottom up economic model was centered on putting more money into the pockets of the

people at the bottom of the economy.

He said that Ruto’s government will set aside funds thatwill be loaned at 5% per annum interest to save people from borrowing from exploitative lenders.

On her part,  Waiguru said  her administration will continue supporting

farmers through the county’s Wezesha Kirinyaga economic empowerment program that has been

funding farmers groups to undertake various profitable agricultural activities.

 Said the governor “ under the plan, farmers have been assisted to undertake poultry, tomato, avocado, dairy and macadamia farming as well as pig rearing, bee keeping and fish farming,”.

She said that her government will be partnering with the UDA government when it takes over

leadership in order to expand the Wezesha program to accommodate every household in the

county.

Added  Waiguru “ we  promise to enable a 24-hours economy in the county by partnering with the

national government to construct modern markets and lighting up the urban areas and streets to

improve on the county’s security and enable traders extend their operations into the night”.

She also assured the Kenya Kwanza leadership  that  the  County was solidly behind Ruto

Presidency and  ready to vote in UDA candidates for all the elective posts.

Other leaders present in the forum included Kiharu and Starehe Members of Parliament Ndindi

Nyoro and Charles Kanyi (Jaguar) respectively, Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi,

UDA parliamentary and County Assembly candidates and Governor Waiguru’s running mate  David Githanda

 


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