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COST OF LIVING

Ukraine war has nothing to do with living cost, Ruto tells Uhuru

He says the answer lies in investing in agriculture and doubling farmers' production.

In Summary

• Ruto said the answer to cutting the cost of living lies in investing in agriculture and doubling farmers' production.

• A bag of fertiliser is currently retailing at Sh6,000 despite the government having announced a Sh5.73 billion fertiliser subsidy min April.

UDA presidential candidate William Ruto at Kasarani Stadium on June 30, 2022 during the launch of the Kenya Kwanza manifesto.
UDA presidential candidate William Ruto at Kasarani Stadium on June 30, 2022 during the launch of the Kenya Kwanza manifesto.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate William Ruto has dismissed President Uhuru Kenyatta's claim that the current high cost of living is largely due to the Ukraine war.

Ruto said the answer to cutting the cost of living lies in investing in agriculture and doubling farmers' production.

"This whole story about Ukraine is a lost cause," Ruto said.

On May 1, 2022 during Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens, Uhuru asked politicians including Ruto to stop blaming him for the high cost of living in the country saying, “I am not in Ukraine”.

He took a swipe at the DP saying the current crisis was beyond his control as it had been occasioned by factors such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

He blamed the DP, his principle assistant, of deserting him in the hour of need and resorting to inciting Kenyans.

But while speaking Friday night during the launch of the Kenya Kwanza manifesto at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Ruto said the current cost of living has been caused by high cost of farm inputs.

A bag of fertiliser is currently retailing at Sh6,000 despite the government having announced a Sh5.73 billion fertiliser subsidy min April.

The subsidy would have brought the price down to Sh3,000 for a bag of NPK, Sh1,950 for C.A.N.  and Sh2,700 for UREA.

"Therefore the challenge of cost of living is not too scientific. The challenge of cost of living is increasing agricultural productivity period," Ruto said.

"A farmer who produces ten bags today per acre because they are struggling can produce 20-25 bags if we support them through fertiliser and seed subsidies and ensure that post-harvest challenges are managed," the DP added.

But whereas Ruto absolved the Ukraine situation from blame on the rising cost of living, the Kenya Kwanza manifesto from which he was making reference to cited the conflict as one of the three challenges responsible for the current economic storm.

"The first is an external shock of rising inflation and interest rates, occasioned by Covid-19 related global supply chain bottlenecks, the economic stimulus spending in the major economies, and the Ukraine war," the document states.


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