By Eastern Newspaper Correspondent
Former Meru senator is a happy man, not only because he won many political and legal battles but also because President William Ruto wiped his tears after losing Meru’s gubernatorial contest by appointing him a Cabinet Minister.
Linturi took over from Peter Munya who served as the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Agriculture Livestock Fisheries and Cooperatives.
Linturi who emerged second in the Meru county gubernatorial contest has promised to revitalize the agriculture sector in all corners of the country in efforts to ensure that the country is food secure as captured in President William Ruto’s 2022 campaign manifesto.
After his appointment, Linturi did not waste time he went straight to his office at Kilimo House in Nairobi and started working. He has held several agricultural-related meetings and led food security functions in efforts to keep his word of feeding the nation under William Ruto’s government.
‘I know Kenya will be food secure if we all embrace strategies that will ensure good agricultural production. I urge all the people to make initiatives of practicing farming at whatever level, if everyone feeds from their small kitchen gardens, then we will kick hunger out of our country’ Linturi said.
Agriculture is among the biggest ministries with various departments that are mandated to perform various functions.
This is the mainstay of the Kenyan economy and Linturi has no options other than delivering results for the Kenya Kwanza coalition government. His predecessor Peter Munya who hails from the same Nyambene area of Meru County had initiated reforms in the tea and coffee sectors where farmers were optimistic that the sector will be fully reformed but he left the office before farmers could fully feel the impact of his reforms.
Linturi has a big challenge of improving or completing what Munya had started. There are numerous cries from farmers in matters that touch on farm inputs as well as good markets for their farm produce.
Unlike other sectors like; manufacturing, transport, tourism, and trade, agriculture has never had proper marketing, value addition, and price control mechanisms hence Linturi will score high if he will be able to address all or some of the main challenges affecting the Kenyan farmer today.
Agriculture that was supposed to make Kenya food secure was captured in Uhuruto’s government’s big 4 agenda that comprised Food Security; Affordable Housing; Manufacturing and Affordable Healthcare to all Kenyans.
This dream was never realized as a result of political competition between the then president Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto where they started pulling from opposite directions and campaigns took the center a situation that killed the dream.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization; Agriculture is key to Kenya’s economy, contributing 33 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and another 27 percent of GDP indirectly through linkages with other sectors.
The sector employs more than 40 percent of the total population and more than 70 percent of Kenya’s rural people. Agriculture in Kenya is large and complex, with a multitude of public, parastatal, non-governmental, and private sectors.