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Ruto claims food production up 40% thanks to subsidised fertiliser, targets zero food imports

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During President William Ruto’s New Year message, the Head of State said that the government’s subsidised fertiliser programme has resulted in increased food production by more than 40 per cent.

“Working with farmers, we will double our efforts in 2024 until we reduce our Sh500 billion food import bill to zero,” he said.

According to data from the World Bank, Kenya’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 5.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2023, compared to 4.3 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2022. This growth was mainly supported by a rebound in agricultural activities that had contracted in 2022.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics’ Quarterly Gross Domestic Product Report showed that agriculture, forestry, and fishing activities’ gross value added rose by 6.7 per cent in in the third quarter of 2023 compared to a contraction of 1.3 per cent in 2022.

Fruit exports rose by 84.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2023 compared to a similar period in 2022 to 59,684.5 metric tonnes. Similarly, vegetable exports and tea production rose by 35.4 per cent and 28.0 per cent to stand at 20,427.1 metric tonnes and 138,771.6 metric tonnes, respectively, in the third quarter of 2023. Intake of milk by processors also increased.

However, the statisticians fingered more favorable weather conditions that characterized the better part of 2023 as the main cause of the country’s improved agricultural performance.

During his remarks on Sunday at State House, Nakuru, President William Ruto said the Government has put in place robust measures to take the country back to its glorious days.

He said the country has made undeniable progress, noting that inflation had eased to 6.8 per cent.

The country’s economy, he observed, is growing, thanks to the sacrifices made by Kenyans.

“We take pride in the strides we have made. We have triumphed over the threat of economic stagnation. We are now secure to our sovereign debts,” he said.

The President explained that the Government had cut expenditure by up to Sh400 billion to reduce borrowing.

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