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Kibaki calls for action on Viral Strain affecting maize

17 September 2012, 13:17 Joseph Mukubwa

President Mwai Kibaki has directed that a technical team be formed to investigate New Viral Strain virus which has attacked maize crop.

He directed the formation of technical team comprising of leading scientists to investigate the origin and characterics and overall effects of the virus, establish and recommend ways of exterminating the virus and advise on mitigation and contingent measures.

Kibaki said the emergence of the new viral strain that has attacked the maize crop with fatal consequences adding that it might seriously impact the food security in the country.

“This is the first time that the strain has been experienced in the country. Continued spread of this virus could seriously impact on our food security now and in future,” he added.

He also said that the Government is concerned Kibaki said he is concerned that coffee theft is still rampant and urged the government to work closely with farmers and managers of coffee factories to put to a stop theft of the produce of hard working Kenyans.

Coffee farmers in the region earned KES 3.6 billion last year.

The coffee prices increased by 85 percent from KES 40 two years ago to KES 75 per Kg of Cherry last year.

The Head of State lauded the farmers for embracing fish farming.

“The volume of fish harvested from only 7 tonnes two years ago to over 170 tonnes last year. A processing unit being constructed by the Government in Tetu is nearing completion and will go a long way in tapping the huge potential of fish farming. I challenge the youth to take up fish farming and marketing as a business,” he added.

Tea farmers in the region earned a total of KES 29 billion last year up from KES 25 billion.

Rice production has doubled over the last five years with earnings reaching an impressive KES 5 billion.

“We are in the process of increasing the capacity of the Mwea Irrigation Scheme. I urge farmers to continue using better farming techniques such as improved seeds and fertilizer so as to sustain high levels of productivity,” he added.

He urged farmers to ensure there is value addition of their crops to increase earnings and generate jobs for our youth.

This year’s theme was ‘enhancing technology in Agriculture and Industry for food security and National growth.

He also directed that all roads leading to Nyeri airbase be tarmacked to attract investors and tourists.

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