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Aspirant for KNCCI president, promises to support value addition of agricultural produce

The vice president of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Dr. Erick Rutto who is also vying to be the next chamber’s president has promised to bring in technology and resources to boost value addition of agricultural produce.

Rutto speaking in Murang’a after he met the chamber’s directors from counties within the central region on Friday explained that the country has relied much on imported manufactured products which are processed from produce exported out of the country.

He promised if he ascends to the leadership of the KNCCI after the national elections slated on June 8, he will bring in investors and seek subsidies from national and county governments among other organizations to support farmers and small and medium enterprises venture in value addition.

“The country currently imports goods worth more than Sh. 2.1 trillion annually and exports goods amounting to about Sh. 700 billion. As the chamber we are aspiring to promote industrialization thus we increase our exports and create employment to our young people,” he said as a section of the recently elected directors threw their support behind him and his team.

Rutto who will face the current KNCCI president Richard Ngatai observed that it’s time for the chamber to come out and support businesses and industry at grassroots.

He noted his target is to support and boost small and medium enterprises which have not recovered from impacts of Covid–19.

“Some SMEs have not recovered from the effects of Covid-19 and as the chamber we have signed many agreements with various organizations and financial institutions which will provide cheap credit facilities to our business people.

“We are also inviting big manufacturing firms to set up industries at grassroots to promote value addition of our produce. This will increase farmers’ earnings,” he added.

Rutto’s meeting came a day after Ngatia met the chamber’s directors from counties within the central region at Sagana in Kirinyaga, as the two intensify their campaigns before the national elections.

Rutto called on the newly elected directors to change leadership of the KNCCI and commit to work for improvement of business and industry opportunities.

“It’s time to change and make the presence of the chamber felt by our members. We need to work on creating opportunities and provide a better working environment for the business community in every corner of this country,” he added.

Rutto who was backed by Chairman of KNCCI Mombasa branch Mustapha Ramadhan and who is eying the position of vice president urged his opponent to embrace peaceful campaigns saying come June 8, the delegates will elect those they prefer to take the chamber to the next step.

Vice chairperson of KNCCI Kiambu branch, Beatrice Kamamia asked those who will be elected at national level to work on ways to ensure small business enterprises get cheap credit facilities.

Kamamia observed that many enterprises are yet to recover from the negative effects of Covid-19 saying KNCCI should provide cheap loans which will see full recovery of ailing enterprises.

She asked those seeking KNCCI headship to seek votes without maligning names of their opponents.

By Bernard Munyao

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