American ambassador to Kenya Mr. Kyle McCarter has appealed to local farmers to be ready and take advantage of the Free Trade Agreement which was about to be signed between the USA and Kenya.
“I request farmers to take advantage of the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries and exploit the wide market in the United States of America,” he added.
McCarter, who hailed the diplomatic relationship between Kenya and the US, said the help his country was extending to Kenya would assist the country to be self-reliant and not put the country into more debts.
“America is in the frontline to help Kenya become a self-reliant country economically but not to put the country into more debts which may be a challenge to repay,” the envoy said.
He noted that the diplomatic relationship between the USA and Kenya is based on friendship and was not meant to make the country dependent to American aid.
Speaking during a charity event organized by Delmonte Company limited at Kihuimwiri area of Murang’a County, the envoy observed that funds from his country were channeled through community-based organizations which helped in improving socio-economic welfare of Kenyans in rural areas.
“The assistance the USA gives to Kenya is to help the country be independent economically. With proper utilization of reassures and exploitation of its potential, Kenya can be one of the richest countries in Africa,” observed McCarter.
He said during this time when the world is faced by covid-19 pandemic, America, despite being one of the most hit country by the virus, would continue helping Kenya to fight coronavirus.
The ambassador who was invited to the event by Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata said American companies in the country have contributed largely in improving the economy of the country.
The envoy’s visit to Murang’a came at a time when Delmonte Company was in process of renewing its land lease which comes to end in 2022 but he did not address the lease issue.
Local residents have been protesting renewal of the lease saying the 22,000 acres of land owned by the American company was forcibly taken from their fore-fathers.
Kang’ata said the issue of renewing the land lease needed sober discussion between the company, Murang’a county government and residents of Kandara who have been seeking help from courts.
Kang’ata lauded the company for providing employment to many Kenyans appealing to the company to cede part of its land to establish a referral hospital and a university.
“The issue of renewal of land lease by Delmonte can be handled amicably and every party involved be satisfied. If the company will donate part of its land, I propose the land to be used to establish a referral hospital and a university,” said Kang’ata.
He further appealed to Delmote to venture in dealing with more farm produce like macadamia, bananas among others so as to help farmers from Murang’a County.
During the occasion, aged people from the area were issued with food and non-food items donated by Delmonte Company and the office of the Senator.
By Bernard Munyao