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CS Kuria challenges counties to compete economically

Investment and Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has challenged counties to compete according to their premium production so as to boost the livelihoods of their residents.

Speaking when he launched the 12th Aggregation and Industrial Park in the Limanet area of Narok County, Kuria said counties have huge potential for raising income if they explore their unique resources.

“After devolution, I expected the counties to compete on the revenue they raise, but this has not been the case, which is very unfortunate,” he said, adding that counties should be gauged through their productivity.

He cited the example of Narok County, which is rich in livestock production and culture, but people remain poor because they have not exploited their resources.

“A time has come when the Maa communities should earn value for their rich culture. Everyone who wants to brand himself or herself using Maasai attire, take photos with the Morans, or even use their identity should pay for it,” he said.

The CS reiterated that a time had come when livestock farmers should earn a fortune from their animals through the sale of hide and skin, milk, and meat.

“The president has given 30 milk coolers to be put in the 30 wards of this county. This is expected to boost milk production in the county, as the milk will be collected in a central place before being transported to the processing plants.

Kuria encouraged the residents to take advantage of the industrial parks to increase their agricultural and livestock production.

Both national and county governments, he said, have pumped in Sh250 million each towards the industrial park initiative.

“We will provide all the machines needed for value addition. We are doing this in all counties, so we encourage every individual to work hard as there will be a market for their produce,” the CS continued.

Already, he said, they have injected Sh. 1 billion into the Ewaso Nyiro leather tannery so as to improve the leather factory.

Narok Governor Patrick Ntutu lauded the initiative, saying 70 per cent of the residents are farmers.

“I made a commitment to improving the people’s livelihoods when I entered the office. I am sure that the initiative we are taking will boost the economy of this county,” said Ntutu.

Ntutu said the prices of milk will shoot from the current Sh. 30 to Sh. 50 after the establishment of the milk processing industry, thus boosting the income of the local farmers.

Thousands of job opportunities will be created for the locals, and the infrastructure around the industrial park will be improved, he added.

“My plan is to boost Narok town to attain city status. I know it will take time, but I can assure you it will come to pass,” he said.

Others present during the function were Narok South Member of Parliament Kitilai Ole Ntutu, Narok County MP Rebecca Tonkei, her Narok North counterpart Agnes Pareyio, and Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde.

By Ann Salaton

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