Narok Governor Patrick Ntutu has committed to prioritize the Agriculture and Livestock sector in the development of the third generation County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) 2023-2027.
Delivering his maiden speech in the County Assembly Chambers Tuesday Governor Ntutu observed that the county is endowed with rich agricultural soils and thrives in livestock keeping noting if the sector is well managed it can boost the county’s economy.
“This will enable us to improve on production, enhance value addition and ultimately put money in the pockets of our farmers. This is in line with my manifesto and the economic values of my party UDA,” Ntutu reiterated.
The governor regretted that though Narok was one of the largest milk producing counties, it has no milk processing industry to boast about.
“As the governor of this great county I will endeavour to see that we do not sell our milk to outsiders like Brookside, New KCC, Bahati Dairies, Milele Dairies, Daima Africa dairies among others. I commit to ensure soon we will have our own milk processing plant,” he said.
On potato farming, the governor noted that the county was one of the largest producer of potatoes but lacked clear policy to regulate the sale of the produce causing farmers to continually suffer losses.
“I will immediately form a small taskforce within the department of agriculture to undertake detailed assessment of the situation of potato farming and forward recommendations on how best we can improve on the sub-sector,” said Ntutu.
The governor also committed to work with the National government to boost maize and wheat farming by building a processing factory in the county, giving subsidized fertilizer, lowering cost of inputs and controlling pests and diseases among others.
He added, “last year, the media was awash with news that local farmers and investors were fleeing the county and abandoning wheat farming due to high costs and infestation by pests and diseases.”
The county will also build a meat processing industry where livestock farmers will sell their animals at favourable prices, hence putting more money in their pockets.
“The reality of our livestock farming is sad because 60 per cent of meat produced at Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) based in Athi River, Machakos County is from livestock exported from Narok County. We have to change this by building and improving our own abattoirs,” he said.
In order to perfect the Agriculture sector, the governor committed to immediately upgrade and maintain the existing road networks and enhance connectivity by building and opening up new road links and bridges.
The first time governor underscored the need to involve all elected leaders, both from the county and national assemblies to brainstorm on emerging issues.
The house business was led by the County Assembly Speaker Davis Dikirr. Also present was Narok Deputy Governor Tamalinye Koech.
By Ann Salaton