• Raila said that going forward, investment in skills and rural transformation for local industrialisation is a must.
• He said that failure to invest and develop such skills, no industries have emerged and no made in Kenya products grew, and instead, poverty has increased.
ODM leader Raila Odinga has explained how Kenyan products can be boosted by transforming the rural areas.
Raila who picked Kwale County as a model on Wednesday, said the generation of Digo and Duruma among other communities in Msambweni, Matuga, and Lunga Lunga constituencies have grown with coconut.
“Using pure home-grown skills, these communities have produced coconut oil and coconut milk. Just enough for home consumption,” Raila said.
“With just a little input on sharpening the traditional skills, we would have a locally owned coconut-based factory producing oil and Tui coconut milk bearing the label Made in Kenya or Produce of Kwale fairly cheaply.”
Through his post on social media on Wednesday, Raila said it is unfortunate that the coconut milk in the country is from Thailand.
He said the local coconut milk has no market, and 80 per cent of it I being bought by Tanzanians, who are paying between Sh6-10.
“The people of Kwale and entire Coast lost an opportunity to make an industry out of coconuts because we failed to support local skills and rural industries.”
Raila added that the failure to invest and develop such skills, no industries have emerged and no made in Kenya products grew, and instead, poverty has increased.
“Various studies indicate the number of people living below poverty level in Kwale range between 54 and 70 per cent. We could drastically turn this around by developing the home-grown skills that have enabled these people to exploit these products and create factories producing made in Kenya products.”
He said that every part of the country has a product that requires a little investment in local skills and rural infrastructure.
Raila said that going forward, investment in skills and rural transformation for local industrialisation is a must.