MOMBASA, Kenya, Sep 5 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday officially opened the 116th Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) show in Mombasa with an appeal to the youth to embrace agribusiness.
Kenyatta, who skipped the 2017 and 2018, took to the podium to urge the youth, especially those from the coastal counties, to embrace agribusiness to attain economic empowerment.
“We want to invite our young men and women to participate in agriculture and agribusiness,” said Kenyatta, during his 12-minute official speech.
Kenyatta said agriculture is key to Kenya’s economic growth.
He said in 2018, agriculture was the biggest contributor to Kenya’s economy accounting for 32 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The President said agriculture also contributed an additional 27 per cent of the GDP, through linkages in the manufacturing sector.
In the current 2019/2020 Financial Year, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries received an increased budgetary allocation of Sh48.5 billion.
The agriculture ministry will get increasing budgetary allocation because it is the most crucial in achieving food security, one of the pillars in the Big Four Agenda, said Kenyatta.
The President, who shied away from politics, said his government is taking bold steps in ensuing food and nutrition security.
“My Administration has developed a Comprehensive Agriculture Transformation Growth Strategy 2019- 2029 that will guide in increasing agricultural output,” said Kenyatta.
Kenyatta urged the 47 county governments to domesticate the strategy.
The strategy also encourages a shift in eating habits among Kenyans.
Kenyatta also said the Jubilee government recognized the importance of the blue economy citing several projects that have been initiated to revive the blue economy sector.
“We have revived the Liwatoni Fisheries Center in Mombasa and we are currently establishing the Shimoni Mariculture Centre. We are also going to establish Fisheries Association and the National Shipping Marketing Authority,” he said.
He was accompanied by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, Kajiado governor Joseph Ole Lenku, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and host of other elected leaders.