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One Billion Trees To Be Planted This Year- H.E. President Kibaki

President Kibaki was speaking on Friday 9th July 2010 at the Nakuru Showground where he officially opened ASK Central Rift National Show (Nakuru) .

 

The President said the Government will this financial year plant one billion trees in its effort to restore the country's forest cover.

Emphasizing the Government's commitment to the restoration of the country's dwindling forest cover and protection of water towers, President Kibaki said his Government, through the Kenya Forest Service, has targeted to conserve a total of 100,000 hectares.

"This Province carries three of our major water towers which include the Mau Complex, Cherangani hills and part of Mt. Elgon Forest that we must jealously protect from any further encroachment," the President said.

The President said the Government will also spend a total of Kshs 28 million to pay youth engaged in tree planting, saying this will be bring an additional 930 hectares under forest cover through the Kazi Kwa Vijana programme.

In this regard, the Head of State urged all Kenyans to plant as many trees as they can in order to conserve the environment.

Said the President "I also encourage farmers to protect the environment and particularly the forests so that agriculture can be a sustainable venture."

Saying the theme of this year's Nakuru National show "Driving Agribusiness in Attaining Food Sufficiency and VISION TWENTY THIRTY" underscores the importance of agriculture as the main driver of the economy, the President called on farmers from the Rift Valley Province to take advantage of the prevailing favourable production conditions to diversify into value addition.

President Kibaki observed that the province is not only the country's bread basket but also produces a large variety of cash crops, saying last year the province produced 14.2 million bags of maize valued at Kshs 28.5 billion.

He said with the good rains experienced this year, production is expected to double to approximately 29 million bags which accounts for 63 per cent of total national production.

"This tremendous increase in the production of maize, wheat and other food crops is a result of the Government's efforts to support farmers in mechanization as well as provision of farm inputs," the President said.

To ease the cost of farm operations and open new areas for cultivation, President Kibaki said the Government allocated 120 tractors over the last one year to boost farm operations in Rift Valley Province.

With regard to farm inputs, the President said the province received a total of 619 metric tons of assorted seeds valued at Kshs 71.7 million and 45,700 metric tons of subsidized fertilizer valued at Kshs 916 million.

He assured farmers that his Government will continue with programmes geared towards ensuring that the country produces enough food not only for local requirements but also for export.

Regarding cash crops, President Kibaki noted that the Rift Valley Province produced 176 million kilograms of tea valued at Kshs 18 billion last year.

On horticulture, the President said the Government will continue to promote horticultural farming in the country, noting that the sub-sector earned the country Kshs 49.4 billion in foreign exchange despite the challenges of drought and the global financial crisis.

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