By Dennis Amoto.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the Co-operative movement to support the government’s industrialization efforts by facilitating farmers engage in value addition of their produce. He said value addition would ensure farmers earned more than they would if they sold raw farm produce.
The Head of State pointed out that the Co-operative movement and the Agricultural sector were inter-twined and they needed to work together to push the country’s industrialization agenda. The Head of State cited the case of Othaya farmers who make good returns because of adding value to their coffee.
‘When I visited Nyeri recently , I met Othaya farmers who are now making Sh80 per kilo of coffee because of value addition unlike other areas where most farmers still earn a meager Sh20,’’ said Uhuru when he recently met Co-operatives officials. He said the Co-operatives are intertwined with Agriculture sector and should always work together.
Uhuru said value addition will also create jobs. He added that Co-operatives were placed under Industalization Ministry to ensure farmers participate in the process of developing agriculture and livestock keeping in the realareas.
Turning to pastoralism he urged livestock farmers in the livestock rich arid zone not only add value to their animals by embracing modern methods of farming but also to keep manageable stock. He said the traditional ways of keeping many herds of livestock was no longer viable due to climate change and other challenges.
He called on the livestock keepers to form Co-operatives instead of relying on middlemen who end up eating into their profits.
“If you add value to the livestock you keep and form Co-operatives finding a market for the livestock products won’t be a big deal,” said the President who thanked the camel milk farmers for adding value to their product to earn international repute.