Kenya Kwanza Presidential aspirant William Ruto has outlined a raft of measures to revamp the economy of the coast region and boost food security.
Speaking at Karisa Maitha grounds in Kilifi during the Kenya Kwanza economic forums on Friday, Ruto said the Galana Kulalu food security project has not had meaningful returns because there was no engagement between the respective county governments and the national government.
“We want to kick out the food insecurity problem in this area and we will use the Sabaki River and reevaluate the Galana Kulalu project to achieve food security. We failed to engage the Tana River and Kilifi county governments but we would like to correct that,” he said.
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Kilifi north MP Owen Baya challenged Ruto to make sure the project is given to the locals to run it.
“In your government make sure the land at Galana Kulalu food security project is subdivided to locals so that they can do irrigation projects. The project has been underperforming. The residents can do proper farming and feed this county,” said Baya
Ruto said his government will establish a fishing port in Takaungu or Tezo in Kilifi North constituency to enhance the blue economy.
He said for a long time artisanal fishermen in Kilifi have not been able to explore the blue economy due to poor fishing gear and poor post catch management.
“Apart from the port, we will make sure we establish cold storage facilities so that fish that do not find a market can be stored and sold the next day. We will also make sure coxswain training is done at the Watamu technical institute,” said Ruto
Currently, it is only Bandari college in Mombasa that offers training for coxswains.
The deputy president also said he would make sure the Ronald Ngala Utalii College is completed within a year of assuming office to enhance the training of locals in hospitality courses.
“This college has taken over ten years and it has not been completed, we will make sure within the first years it is complete and it benefits the youths,” he added.
He promised to revamp the Cashew nut, coconut and bixa crops which do well in the region.
“We will make sure we give these crops the same treatment as coffee and tea. We will make sure we these crops are well taken care of and industries established so that we can not only produce but also value add these crops,” he said.