• He said for any society to be productive, its members must be healthy. He said the availability of sufficient and healthy food is a key determinant of good health.
• Meso said his administration will allocate adequate funding to the agriculture sector to guarantee its steady growth.
Busia Jubilee governor hopeful Lucas Meso has said his primary focus, if elected, will be to transform the agriculture sector to make the county food-secure.
He said for any society to be productive, its members must be healthy. He said the availability of sufficient and healthy food is a key determinant of good health.
Meso said his administration will allocate adequate funding to the agriculture sector to guarantee its steady growth.
The aspirant said Busia has fertile land and it is ironic that thousands of people in the county can hardly afford three meals a day.
If the land in the county is appropriately utilised, it can produce enough food for residents and have surplus for sale to other counties and internationally, he said.
“In this day and age, there is absolutely no reason why our people should continue to sleep hungry,” Meso said.
He spoke during an exclusive interview at his Bumutiru home in Butula subcounty.
“It is my intention to ensure that Busia will be one county that will be remembered for attaining food security.”
He also promised to tackle youth unemployment.
Youth can earn a living through agriculture, he said.
“You have seen why we have a lot of problems among our young people and sometimes people are genuinely poor because governments have not taken deliberate efforts to productively use these people. I intend to ensure our people are fully utilised,” Meso said.
“Anybody with talent, anybody who is business-minded will be empowered so they become useful to our community. We no longer want people to go through the indignity of having children chased away from school for lack of school fees.”
Meso, joined Jubilee after a short stint at DAP-Kenya.
He is the only Jubilee aspirant seeking to succeed Governor Sospeter Ojaamong, whose second and last term as governor ends this year.
Others in the race are former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma, Woman Representative Florence Mutua, Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi, Nambale MP John Bunyasi and former Education chief officer Dan Mogoria.
He said if elected governor, he will improve the relationship between Busia residents and Ugandans at the border, particularly fishermen.
“At the end of the day we are one people who sometimes speak the same language. The animosity you find cropping up between our people and those in Uganda is totally unnecessary,” he said.
“I think there is no need for us to compete for resources that we have been given. I will use my very good diplomatic skills to ensure that everything that needs to be done will be done.”
Meso described Ojaamong as his friend.
“Governor Ojaamong is my friend. We don’t have any disagreements. He was our first governor. He has done what he could possibly do. It is important that whatever foundation he has laid be carried on by someone who understands the workings of government and the county,” Meso said.
“We wish him well as he retires. And in the event that we may need to consult him on certain areas we remain friends, we will do that.”
Before joining politics, Meso was the Agricultural Finance Corporation's managing director.
He also had a successful career in the banking industry spanning more than 30 years. He started at the Central Bank of Kenya.
By the time he left CBK, he was the inspector heading the supervision department. After his stint at CBK, he worked at Commercial Bank of Africa as a manager in charge of special assets.
He also worked at the Cooperative Bank of Kenya before later joining the East Africa Development Bank. He subsequently returned to the country where he was appointed the Agricultural Finance Corporation managing director.
Edited by A.N