State to put more emphasis on mechanised farming – Uhuru

Friday December 1 2017

President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) at the 64th World Ploughing Contest at Ngongongeri Farm in Egerton University, Nakuru County on December 1, 2017. PHOTO | PSCU 

By FRANCIS MUREITHI
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President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that the government will pay special attention to mechanisation in agriculture so as to help local farmers increase food production.

The President spoke as he came face to face with the latest ploughing machines during the 64th World Ploughing contest at Ngongongeri farm at Egerton University in Nakuru County on Friday.

He confessed that he was seeing the latest state-of-the-art ploughing machines for the first time.

"I am seeing some of these highly advanced ploughing machines for the first and my government will prioritise the acquisition of such machines to help local farmers increase food production," the President said.

In a speech that lasted slightly over two minutes, the President thanked the World Ploughing Organisation (WPO) for choosing Kenya to host the 2017 event.

TOUR KENYA

He urged the visitors and other dignitaries attending the event to sample the Kenya’s tourist attraction sites before they leave.

"Kenya is a wonderful country and some of the best people in the world are found in this part of the world," the President said.

This is the second time the global event, which started in 1953, is returning to Kenya.

It was held at the same venue in 1995.

Ngongongeri Farm

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) gives a thumps-up to competitors at the 64th World Ploughing Contest at Ngongongeri Farm in Egerton University, Nakuru County on December 1, 2017. PHOTO | PSCU

This year's contest has attracted a total of 22 countries which include Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England and Estonia.

Other participating countries include Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, New Zealand, North Ireland, Slovenia, Switzerland, USA, Wales and host Kenya.

LEARN NEW SKILLS

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said local farmers will benefit from the global competition as they will learn skills that will help them improve commercial farming.

"I urge local farmers to attend such competitions as the new technology the visitors are applying could be useful [in boosting] food production in future," said Mr Bett.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui urged local farmers to attend the competition before it ends on Saturday to learn from the experience of highly trained ploughmen.

"The bedrock of Nakuru County is agriculture and it is important for local farmers to attend such global events to learn from the best ploughmen in the world," said Mr Kinyanjui.

Also present was Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika and other local leaders.