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Ruto answers maize critics, says State to triple rice crop

Dec 02 2018

December 01, 2018 ( George Murage, The Star, Kenya )

 

The government is planning to triple rice production to reduce over-reliance on maize, Deputy President William Ruto said on Friday.

He waded into the maize debate, saying plans are underway to increase rice production by 300 per cent and that of potatoes five times.

Ruto caused laughter when, without naming names, he accused some politicians of being obsessed with maize politics.

He spoke during the Nakuru International Investment Conference (NIICO 2018 ) in Naivasha.

Ruto said it was time Kenyans diversified to other foods.

“As we seek to start producing high-income produce such as avocados, some few elements are debating about maize storage instead of seeking new markets,” he said.

Ruto, who represented President Uhuru Kenyatta at the event, said Naivasha is poised to become a premier investment destination and industrial hub.

“The presence of geothermal, its agricultural potential and Nakuru’s cosmopolitan magnet has made it more attractive to investors,” he said.

Ruto urged the county government to leverage on natural resources and the presence of the standard gauge railway to become a global investment destination.

He praised Governor Lee Kinyanjui and his administration for partnering with private firms.

“The national government continues to secure favourable markets for export and support development of small-scale traders in expanding and seeking new markets outside the country,” Ruto said

He said the establishment of an inland cargo depot in Naivasha will make the county a logistical hub, reducing the cost of transport and delays.

The DP said the government would review the downgrading of Naivasha, saying it had affected conferences. Kinyanjui said they are keen to tap into tourism to earn more revenue. He praised the move to extend the SGR to Naivasha