- He said the government will intervene to transform agriculture is foundational to the successful implementation of the Plan.
- The President added that agriculture has stagnated and hence the high cost of living and high levels of poverty.
President William Ruto has explained the reasons behind elevating the Nairobi National Agricultural Show to an international trade fair.
Speaking during the official opening of the Nairobi Trade Fair on Wednesday, Ruto said the elevation was informed by agriculture being the prime mover of the nation’s economic activity.
"It is therefore critical that we use opportunities such as this to engage a broader regional, continental and global audience," he said.
The President said agriculture and trade directly affect the performance of other sectors and are also affected by the activity in other spheres of economic pursuit.
He said the country will proceed beyond subsistence agriculture by taking into account competitiveness, productivity, efficiency, value addition, manufacturing and trade.
"I shall therefore focus on the plan being implemented by the government to address our most critical developmental challenges with specific emphasis on the salient aspects of this year’s theme," he said.
"At the heart of our Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda is the endeavour to radically increase employment opportunities and simultaneously significantly enhance the productivity of labour in five priority sectors."
The President added that agriculture has stagnated hence the high cost of living and high levels of poverty.
"Consequently, our food production more often than not falls far below demand, and the importation of food increases our trade deficit and increases food prices. Given that food constitutes 54 per cent of household expenditure, agricultural productivity is a high priority," Ruto said.
The President added that agriculture has endured shock and stress on account of extreme weather events, erratic climate and other adverse impacts of climate change.
He said that the country has just emerged from a devastating spell of drought, which lasted for six seasons, leaving behind a catastrophic trail of famine, undernourishment, loss of crops and livestock, disrupted livelihoods, increased poverty and weakened resilience.
He, however, assured Kenyans that the government would not give up because there would be a turnaround.