Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, cognizant of the fact that since the creation of the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), many students have benefited from the financing; aware that there has been an exponential increase in the number of students joining institutions of higher learning; concerned that the funding projections and amounts did not take into account the prevailing economic trends; this House urges the Government to double funding to help decentralize the operations of HELB, direct HELB to extent funding to all deserving cases of students joining institutions of higher learning and strengthen and widen the management of HELB by ensuring representation from every part of this country.
asked the Minister for Transport what action he is taking to ensure that fare is controlled and regulated to curb arbitrary increase by Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators.
Where is the Minister for Transport? We will have to revisit the Question a little later!
asked the Minister for Education:– (a) whether he could state the number of adult literacy centers, the number of registered adult learners and the number of permanent and temporary teachers in Samburu East District; (b) when he will post a district adult education officer to the District; and, (c) whether he could provide a breakdown of the number of adult learners who sat for national examinations for the last five years and their ratings in performance.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Samburu East District has 11 adult literacy centers, 392 adult registered adult learners, one full time permanent teacher and 10 part-time temporary teachers. (b) The Ministry will post a district adult education officer in Samburu East District when we get funding for the employment. Currently, there are 118 districts in the country, including Samburu East, without adult education officers. However, the district will continue to be served by the District Education Officer who is in charge of the larger Samburu District. (c) The breakdown of the number of adult learners who sat for the national examinations for the last five years and their performance is as follows:- We only have for the year 2008 and 2009. In 2008 for KCSE, there were 14 candidates. One had a C-, two had Ds and three had D-. In 2009, there were 18 candidates. One had a C+, another had a C-, seven had D+, one had a D and two had D-. It is not within the mandate of the Ministry to prepare adult education learners for KCPE and KCSE examinations. The Ministry provides only literacy and numeracy classes.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. While I thank the Assistant Minister for the answer, I would like him to explain why there are few adult literacy centers? There is only one permanent teacher and 10 part time teachers? Is that not discouraging adult learners from joining adult literacy programmes?
Order, Mr. Letimalo! Could you ask one supplementary question? Those seem to be three. Which one do you want to be answered?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the questions are connected. I am only asking him what reasons he has for having very few adult literacy classes and whether by so doing, he is not discouraging adult learners from joining the programme.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I agree there is need to provide more centers and, indeed, more will come up. We are in the process of finalizing employment of new adult teachers. So, more centers will come up.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the answer given by the Assistant Minister is very worrying. He has a shortage of 118 education officers and yet, we know how difficult it is to carry out continuous education in our society. Could he tell the House what policies or plans they have to promote adult education and employment of adult education officers?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member should appreciate that, in the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of districts. What used to be constituencies are now districts. That is the main reason why we have that huge shortage. We are trying very hard to cope with the creation of the new districts. We need resources for the new districts. All the previous districts have adult education officers. It is the new districts which have created the shortage.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, from the results posted, I can see that the performance in national examinations is very poor. What arrangement does the Ministry have to improve performance in national examinations? It is also clear that there are no adult education officers to supervise these centres.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I appreciate the hon. Member’s concern that the adult education learners should also sit for the national examinations. I would want the Questioner to appreciate the fact that the Ministry’s mandate as far as adult education is concerned, is not to prepare the adult education learners for national examinations. It is for literacy and numeracy. It is to equip them with the knowledge of reading, writing and number handling.
asked the Minister for Roads:- (a) what steps he is taking to fast-track the repair of Migori-Muhuru Road (C13), which has been un-motorable for the last six months; and, (b) whether he could provide the name of the contractor who was awarded the tender for the works and what was the value for the repairs.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The maintenance of the Migori-Muhuru Road (C13) is ongoing and is expected to be completed by the end of October this year. I have already instructed the contractor on site to move with speed and enhance the progress of works ahead of the expected short rains. (b) The contractor is M/s Legend Construction Company Limited and the value of the works is Kshs8.346 million.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I appreciate the answer given by the Minister. However, I want him to tell us something more about this road because he had promised here two years ago that the road was going to be tarmacked. Up to now, he is just talking about murraming the road.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, yes, we may have promised to tarmac the road but resources available to us would not enable us to tarmac the road as of now. That does not mean that we have no plans to tarmac that road. I want to assure the hon. Member that we will keep the road in view for the next slot of the roads to be tarmacked.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, while I appreciate what the Minister has said, that the road is being fast-tracked in terms of murraming, I would like to ask him whether contractors are authorized to use red soil as a base for tarmacking as is happening with Road C77, between Nyahururu and Gilgil.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are specifications when roads are being tarmacked with regard to the materials to be used. If any contractor will be using materials that are not certified or approved by officials from my Ministry, that contractor would be contravening the requirements of the contract. I want to thank the Member for letting me know that there is a contractor who could be using the wrong materials on a road somewhere in this country. I will follow it up and take the necessary action.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, now that the consultants have already finalized the design and the bill of quantities for this Road C13, could the Minister confirm that this time round, the funds will be allocated for the tarmacking of this road?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have already indicated that when funds are available, I will take the earliest opportunity to include this road for tarmacking.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, what plans is the Ministry making to ensure that most murram roads in this country are upgraded to all weather roads? As you can see, a lot of contractors just do shoddy jobs and before you know, a lot of money is spent on the roads and nothing much comes out of it.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have just rolled out a document, namely; Maintenance Manual, which will be launched very soon. It indicates how a road should be maintained or repaired, be it a tarmac or a murram road. Similarly, it gives specifications of the materials for murraming a road. All the materials that are used are tested. That is why I am placing, at every construction site, a site engineer from the Ministry to make sure that the materials being used by the contractors are within the specifications and are tested accordingly.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister has said that the project is expected to be completed by the end of October 2010 and that the contract amount is Kshs8,346,978. Could he give an indication of what per centage of work is complete and what is outstanding as of now?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would have wished to give that information, but I do not have it available immediately. However, I can assure the House that I will endeavour to make sure that the job is completed within the period I have specified in my answer this afternoon.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, how much will each constituency get? We know that from the 22 per cent, each constituency will get Kshs27 million. How much will each constituency get from the 10 per cent of the Fuel Levy Fund?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I seek your indulgence. That is a different Question all together. I want to seek your indulgence for the Member to bring an appropriate Question for me to be ready to answer it at an appropriate time.
You are entitled to the claim. It is a different Question, indeed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, for me to ask which contractor is working in Migori at this time is very absurd because it means that the Ministry is not involving the locals in their projects, which they should be involved in. What is the Government policy in the maintenance of the roads above Grade B?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, when a contractor is awarded a contract to do a particular section of a road, it is his responsibility to recruit staff as he deems fit. I have given general instructions though, that for any casual jobs, they must be reserved for the locals in that area. But for anything that would require expertise or a certain level of experience, I do not want to interfere because I will also be putting the contractor in a very awkward position that will not allow me to audit his work later.
Member for Bahari!
asked the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security:- (a) when the Dandora Police Post will be upgraded to a Police Station; and, (b) how much money has been set aside for its construction in the 2010/2011 Financial Year.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) A survey is currently being carried out countrywide with a view to finding out which police posts and patrol bases require upgrading to police stations and police posts, respectively. Dandora Police Post is amongst those which will be considered for upgrading to a full-fledged police station.
(b) A project comprising of 24 two-bed roomed housing units, complete with civil works, at a cost of Kshs60 million is just about to be completed at Dandora Police Post. A modern administration block is also being considered for construction, subject to availability of funds.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thank the Assistant Minister for his answer. The Assistant Minister has been promising to take action on Dandora Police Post because of the situation there. We have a very serious insecurity problem there. I have always thought that he is going to take it as an emergency case. When, in particular, is the gazettement of Dandora Police Station going to take place?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, once we have allocated the funds, we will gazette Dandora Police Post as a full-fledged police station. The Questioner should, at least, thank the Government for having allocated Kshs60 million, because we are doing 24 housing units as we speak. Once we identify the police posts that are going to be upgraded to police station status, we will gazette all of them to full-fledged police stations. We will also allocate them money to start construction of administration blocks.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, because of the urgency of the matter in our constituency--- My people were thinking that if the Ministry is not going to allocate money immediately, we could factor the administration block into our Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) programme. Therefore, I would like the Assistant Minister to clarify whether he is going to do it in the current financial year, so that if it emerges that he is not going to do it, we can factor its cost into our CDF proposals for the current financial year. Is the Assistant Minister ready to do that?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we normally welcome cost-sharing. If the Questioner comes to my office, we will agree on what he is going to give and what I am going to add. Cost-sharing is the best way forward. I want to assure this House that Dandora Police Post is going to be upgraded to a full-fledged police station. So, if the hon. Member tells us how much money they are going to give from the constituency kitty, I will also fast-track the allocation of some funds from our side.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
The Member for Makueni!
asked the Minister for Lands:- (a) whether he is aware that Members of Kathonzweni Land Control Board have not been paid their allowances for meetings held on 30th July 2009, 27th Aug 2009, 24th Sept 2009, 29th Oct 2009, 26thNov 2009, 10th Dec 2009, 28th Jan 2010, 25th March 2010, 7th May 2010 and 29th July 2010; and, (b) what the reasons for the non-payment are and when he will pay the accrued allowances.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that members of Kathonzweni Land Control Board have not been paid their allowances. This is due to inadequate financial allocation for this Item. However, partial payment of Kshs3,740 was made in July, 2009. The Ministry is yet to settle the accrued allowances totaling Kshs32,180. (b) As indicated in “a” above, the Ministry is unable to pay all the accrued allowances due to inadequate funding. During the current financial year, Kshs100,000 has been allocated to Makueni District to clear part of the pending allowances and also pay members of the Land Control Board in the district. However, the Ministry has requested the Treasury to allocate it more funds to clear all pending claims. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Minister for owning up and accepting that the members of the Land Control Board have not been paid. Looking at this payment schedule, you would agree that very little was done in terms of paying allowances to the members of this Board. Why did the Assistant Minister allow scheduled meetings for every month to take place when he knew that he had no money to pay the allowances?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that was done knowing that we would pursue the matter with the Treasury. We were actually trying to see if work could be done and then pay the members of the Board. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister explain whether this non-payment of allowances to the Land Control Board members is only applicable to Makueni District or it also affects other parts of the country? What action is he going to take to ensure that this anomaly is corrected?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it affects the whole country. We are trying to address the issue. That is why I said we have addressed our concern to the Treasury. Once funds have been released to us, we will clear all the outstanding allowances. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, while thanking the Assistant Minister for that answer, there are some constituencies where names of members of the Land Control Boards have been submitted, but they have not been gazetted. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that those names are gazetted, especially those for Mutito Constituency?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, once we receive the letter from the DC, we will act. It could just have been an oversight. Once our attention has been drawn to it, we will address the issue. I am ready to work on the issue of Mutito once the DC has communicated to us.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like the Assistant Minister to tell us whether he is aware that the majority of the members who are serving the Land Control Boards have not been re-gazetted in the newly constituted Kathonzweni Land Control Board. Under the circumstances, could he confirm that the first charge would be to clear the allowances accruing to members who have not made it back to the Land Control Board?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, once our problem has been addressed by Treasury, we will deal with that particular problem. I can assure the hon. Member that if there is any re-gazettement to be done, we will do it as soon as possible. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Member for Mutito!
asked the Minister for Transport what action he is taking to ensure that fare is controlled and regulated to curb arbitrary increase by Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I begin by apologising to the House for my late arrival this afternoon. It was because I transited from a Cabinet meeting to here. Also, in the morning, there was nobody in this House from the Ministry of Transport to answer Questions. I was preparing for a Cabinet meeting and, my Assistant Minister, who should have been here, is unwell. So, he could not make it. So, I would like to tender those apologies to the House, and say that we will try to make sure that in future, we come to answer Questions or notify you of our absence in good time.
You may proceed.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. The Ministry of Transport does not intend to regulate the fare charged by public service vehicles (PSVs) because we are in a liberalised economy, in which the conduct of business is guided by the market forces of supply and demand. Therefore, regulation of fares would go against that Government policy of liberalisation.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are here to represent Kenyans and the Minister must appreciate that there is quite a big disparity when it comes to the issue of fares. In some instances, you will find competing companies charging different fares on the same route. Could the Government also have a human face to ensure that the humble Kenyans who are so hardworking and earning very little are not exploited in the guise of liberalization?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do appreciate the disparities in fares between different areas and between different travelling seasons. You will find that when there is a peak demand, especially during Easter or Christmas holidays, the matatus have been known to hike their fares unreasonably. Again, it is part of responding to the market supply and demand. While we cannot directly intervene on the fares and prescribe fares for that, we are trying to work on it from a different policy perspective in terms of encouraging fair competition, ensuring safety comes first and increasing the supply of dependable transport on the Kenyan roads, including what we are doing on enhancing commuter rail transport within the cities. Because of Government investment, it will not be at the mercy of the forces of demand and supply. So, it is a matter of time before we harmonize issues of supply and demand of public transport. I would like to ask the public to be mindful of the companies that are charging them good fares, giving them comfort and giving them value for money and support them. They should avoid the ones that are exploiting them and report them to us, so that we can look at how we can use the industry to put peer pressure and self-regulation within the industry.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also want to confirm to this House that next week, I will be meeting with the National Road Safety Council and various matatu owners associations and matatu welfare associations, as part of looking through these things from a persuasive issue; by working together, rather than having to bring in the big hand of controls.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Minister for his answer. I think this question relating to fares; it is not definitely possible for you to control fares in a privatized industry. Is the Minister very comfortable that we have left public transport in private hands? Is that comfortable enough if we really indeed want to develop this country? Is there anything you are going to do to ensure that there is intervention in public transport to ensure that adequate transport is provided at reasonable fares?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, although currently the bulk of the private operators provide public transport, we have intervened through the provision of train services, and we are expanding that in the course of this financial year. We should be opening up a new line between Nairobi Railway Station and Embakasi, which will enhance the capacity of public transport in that area. Experiments in the past like the Nyayo Bus Service were major disasters. I do not believe that we want to go that direction any time soon. We will be working with various players in the public transport industry, first of all with emphasis on safety, reduction of road carnage, public comfort and also ensuring the timeliness, so the people can be able to get in and out of work at the appointed time. I would want to ask that by the time we work through the initiatives that we are having, I would be happy to come and share with this House the policy measures that we would have put in place to ensure that we have sound public transport in this country. That will also be tied to fair competition and ensuring that price is affordable to the people.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the good Minister for that answer. This Minister is known to think outside the box. I want to urge him to take up the challenge of starting commuter railway stations within cities. If possible, the Government should partner with other private investors to ensure mwananchi does not continue suffering from high costs charged by transporters who want to benefit from the vulnerable wananchi .
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the hon. Member for the confidence he has shown in me and I am sure I will not let him down.
Hon. Members, that then brings us to the end of Question Time. We now move to the next Order.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Sometime ago, I sought a Ministerial Statement from the Ministry of Agriculture regarding the prices of maize in the southern-eastern region and the Chair gave a directive that the Minister should bring the Statement. I have consulted the Minister, even privately, but I am afraid up to now, we have not been able to get the answer. Would I be in order to ask, through the Chair, for the Minister to give an indication as to when we are going to have that Ministerial Statement?
Yes, you are in order to ask. Minister for Agriculture, when will that Ministerial Statement be forthcoming?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not remember the personal consultations but we shall refer to the HANSARD and know the gist of that Ministerial Statement and issue it on Tuesday next week.
Tuesday next week! It is so directed!
As there are no other requests for Statements, we will move to the Next Order.
I beg to move:- That the Speaker do now leave the Chair.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you are aware, the overall objective of my Ministry is the attainment of food security and increased income through enhanced food production. Achieving the goal of food security requires substantial financial resources to the agricultural sector as was recognized by the African Heads of State and Government who in their Maputo Declaration of 2003, committed themselves to increasing the agricultural sector budget allocation to at least 10 per cent of their national Budget. Kenya like many other African countries, is committed to achieving this target. However, while in numerical terms the budget of my Ministry has increased from Kshs6.2 billion in 2004/2005 to Kshs13.5 billion in 2008/2009 and this year it is at Kshs18.9 billion in terms of per centage of national Budget, this translates to 1.4 per cent in 2004, 1.7 per cent in 2009 and this year, to only 1.8 per cent as a per centage of our Budget. The budget of the whole agricultural sector stands at 3.5 per cent of the national Budget in the current financial year. This is not only below the 10 per cent that we committed to in Maputo but also too little for me to meet the target in my performance contract; that is the food security we so much desire and the expected contribution to our economy. I will need the support of this House to make the case for increased budgetary allocation. As noted in the economic survey released recently, the sector continues to contract or bid at a slower pace from revised growth of negative of 4.3 per cent registered in 2008 to negative 2.7 per cent in 2009. This is as a result of the prolonged drought of 2008/2009, world food crisis, crisis of 2008 and the world economic recession of 2008/2009. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are however, on the recovery process. After a two year consecutive decline in maize production, 2009 registered a marginal increase of 4.2 per cent to 27.1 million bags from 26 million bags recorded in 2008 due to Government intervention in the provision of cheaper inputs, wheat production increased by 49 per cent in 2009 as a result of cheaper fertilizer and seed. Coffee production increased by 35 per cent from 42,000 tonnes of 2007/2008 crop year to 57,000 tonnes in the year 2008/2009 crop year. But despite the area under tea expanding, production fell by 9 per cent from 348,000 tonnes to 314,000 tonnes in 2008. This was due to drought. Mr. Speaker, Sir, sugar-cane production increased by 9.8 per cent from 5.1 million tonnes in 2008 to 5.6 tonnes in 2009. This increment was attributed to prompt payment of farmers’ proceeds and improved factory performance. A decline of 8.7 per cent in the area under sugar cane was observed in 2009 as a result of existence of mature cane in Sony Sugar Zone and contractual misunderstanding in the Mumias Zone. However, the area harvested increased by 20.8 per cent in the same year, mainly due to dry weather which enabled continuous harvesting. The sugarcane yield decreased by 10.6 per cent from 72.9 tonnes per hectare to 65.2 tonnes per hectare in the year 2009 although the potential internationally is well over 100 tonnes per hectare. As it is, the sugar industry is not competitive according to world standards. We have proposed major reforms in the industry. We will involve the private sector and we will need the support of this House. To meet the national requirements, we are in addition, involved in expansion of production of sugar cane in more productive areas such as the coastal region. Horticulture which is our largest foreign exchange earner recorded reduction in the quantity of exports for the first time in five years mainly due to the economic crisis in Europe which caused a major decline in demand and price of exports. Consequently, the quantity of exports of fresh produce decreased by 6.4 per cent between the year 2008/2009, reducing from 193,100 tonnes to 180,800 tonnes. At the same time, the value of our exports reduced by 14.8 per cent in 2009. This was one of the reasons why the agricultural growth did not register more positive growth digits. Mr. Speaker, Sir, Kenya is the third largest producer of flowers in the world but we stand to lose if we do not make production cost competitive according to world standards. This being the largest sub sector in the country with great potential, it is imperative that it is safeguarded from over- exploitation by over-taxation and other forms of discrimination. Therefore, I will need the support of this House to safeguard this sector and keep it internationally competitive. Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me now turn to some of the interventions undertaken by my Ministry during 2009/2010 financial year to bolster agricultural development in the country. One of my Ministry’s key strategic objective is creation of an enabling environment for development in the agricultural sector. My Ministry prepared seven draft policy documents against the four targeted covering horticulture, agribusiness, emerging crops, urban and peri-urban agriculture and root crops, among others. With regard to the Bills, my Ministry has prepared four Bills that I intend to table in this august House soon; that is, the Tea Amendment Bill, the Coffee Amendment Bill, the Seed and Plants Varieties Bill and the Agriculture Rules of 2009. Mr. Speaker, Sir, one of my Ministry’s key functions is the provision of extension services to our farmers. In this regard, through the various programmes being implemented across the country, a total of 3.05 million farmers were reached through extension messages. One of the challenges of carrying out extension work is transport to enable my over 7,000 technical support staff to reach farmers as required. I will need the support of this House to request for more vehicles and motorcycles. In order to support extension services, my Ministry has been implementing a refurbishment and development programme for the agricultural training centres spread across the country. Towards this end, nine agricultural training colleges (ATCs) were refurbished and new facilities added during the year 2009/2010 financial year. These new facilities include construction of additional hostel blocks, office blocks and provision of agro processing units and water systems installation. I intend to expand this programme so that we can have farmers training as part and parcel of the extension programme. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the agricultural sector cannot develop without the contribution of agricultural research. During the year under review, our agricultural research institutions were able to release 14 new crop varieties into the market to help in boosting agricultural production. In promoting Arid and Semi Arid Areas (ASAL), my Ministry was able to develop 50 water harvesting structures for demonstration and onward replication by the farmers. My Ministry also developed 50 drip irrigation kits, agro-forest nurseries and zero tillage technologies. Other ASAL agricultural technologies that were promoted include growing of orphan crops like sorghum, cassava and millet as well as promotion of new crops suitable for ASAL areas such as aloe vera, oil palms, and jatropha, among others. Mr. Speaker, Sir, my Ministry has special food security initiatives which include
Kenya and Orphan Crops Programmes. Through these initiatives, my Ministry supported seven community-based organizations in food security innovations and 575 farmers groups to carry out various food security initiatives. Under the Orphan Crops Programme, 259 metric tons of assorted seed, 1,600,000 cassava cuttings and 2,800 sweet potato vines were distributed to farmers. During the year, my Ministry also implemented food security programmes such as the National Agricultural and Livestock Extension Projects, private-sector development assistance, agricultural sector programme support, small holder horticultural marketing programmes, small holder agricultural empowerment and promotion units and small scale horticultural development projects, among others. Mr. Speaker, Sir, my Ministry in conjunction with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs and the Ministry of Regional Development, implemented the food security component of the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) in various parts of the country. The specific objectives of the component were to increase the area under irrigation and to generate employment opportunities in the production, processing and marketing among others. The programme covered a total acreage of 14,000 acres of which 5,000 acres was for maize and 8,000 acres was devoted to rice cultivation. While the programme has been largely successful, the heavy prolonged short rains in parts of the country affected maize drying by farmers, resulting in them harvesting earlier than normal. Mr. Speaker, Sir, for this country to develop agriculture and be food secure, we have to harness our irrigation. The effort we started under the ESP is just a touch of the huge unexploited irrigation potential of this country. We would need to invest at least Kshs15 billion per year in the next five years in irrigation, for us to achieve at least 50 per cent of our irrigation potential in the country. My Ministry has been allocated Kshs100 million for water harvesting and the sector allocated Kshs2.8 billion which is reflected under the Treasury. We would have wished to be allocated more to invest in this noble goal. The Government through my Ministry, has undertaken interventions at boosting agricultural productivity through provision of various inputs such as fertilizer and assorted seeds. Some Kshs1.9 billion was spent in the purchase of assorted seeds for farmers and fertilizers through support from the Government and some development partners. Mr. Speaker, Sir, under the National Accelerated Agricultural Input Access Programme which my Ministry is implementing in some 90 districts across the country and with support from development partners, a total of Kshs43 million was used to purchase fertilizer and assorted seeds and distributed to 170,000 small scale farmers. These are a few of the interventions my Ministry undertook, aimed at increasing productivity in the country. The interventions for 2010 are that we will ensure that delivery of services is sustainable so that growth can be sustainable. In keeping with the Government policy of adopting programme-based budgeting, my Ministry has three sections; policy strategy management, crop development and agri-business. In this, we cover six strategic objectives. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the first programme is that of implementing the strategy of the development review. The second and third include the harmonization of our activities and all the 130 current legislations which we intend to reduce to a manageable level. My Ministry intends to work on the new Cereals Bill and the Fertilizer Soil Bill. We also have developed a strategy for crop management which we intend to implement. The provision we have received for the extension services is below our expectations. However, we will be working with the Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders to see that it is increased. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the third programme that my Ministry is implementing is agri- business and agricultural information management. For this and others, I intend to spend Kshs8, 187,640,610 under the Recurrent Vote and just over Kshs10 billion under the Development Vote for the year 2010/2011 to meet the targets set for this year under my Ministry. In conclusion, I would like to request the House to approve an amount of Kshs18,962,567,668 to meet both the Recurrent and Development expenditures of my Ministry for the year ending 30th June 2011. I beg to move and would like to request Mr. Chris Obure to second.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, I want to congratulate Dr. Sally Kosgei for the eloquent manner in which she has moved her Ministry’s Vote. We are very fortunate to have a person of the calibre of Dr. Kosgei as the Minister of Agriculture. She brings vast experience gathered in public service over very many years of her service to Government into that Ministry. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Ministry of Agriculture is a very important part of our structure. It is very important because it is charged with heavy responsibilities that have a direct bearing on the performance of our economy as a country. Agriculture will for many years to come, continue to be the base of the economy of this country. It is the sector that will continue to spur the growth of our economy. Agriculture will continue to be the sector on which we rely for employment and income generation. Therefore, it is important that as Parliament, we support this Ministry to ensure that it performs well. Mr. Speaker, Sir, one of the main mandates of this Ministry is to ensure that we are food secure as a country. It must ensure that there is adequate food for Kenyans. Now that we have the new Constitution, the obligation is on the Government and, therefore, on this Ministry to ensure that Kenyans have enough food everywhere wherever they may be in this country. It is an obligation on the part of the Government to ensure that Kenyans have sufficient food all the time. In this respect, I want to urge the Ministry of Agriculture to make sure that they provide the correct variety of seeds to farmers. I am saying that because right now as I speak, small scale farmers in the area where I come from - Kisii region - do not have the correct variety of seeds. They have not been supplied with the correct variety of seeds and, therefore, that might compromise the food sufficiency in that part of our country.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, funds allocated for water harvesting and irrigation are inadequate in many respects. I feel that the Ministry of Agriculture should rely less and less on rain fed agriculture. We should go into irrigation in a big way. We should allocate more funds, as Parliament, to ensure that the Ministry of Agriculture engages more in water harvesting to guarantee food sufficiency.
The other area I would like to focus on is research. We know that a lot of research is being carried out by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). Unfortunately, a lot of their findings are not shared out to farmers. We would like to ask the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that research findings by agricultural related institutions are shared out with farmers, so that we can improve food production by using modern agricultural techniques. That is the only way we can optimize the resources available to farmers and to the nation.
I also want to mention something about value addition with regard to agricultural produce. Let me give the example of tea. We are one of the leading tea producing nations in the world. Unfortunately, up to now, we continue to export our tea in bulk and, therefore, we are not taking full advantage of the prices in the international markets. That is an area with tremendous lots of prospects which we can tap. It can change and reform the lives of people as well as generate more income to farmers. Therefore, that is one area where I would like to request the Ministry of Agriculture and all the other Ministries, including the Ministry for Industrialization, to focus more on that aspect so that we can re-generate more money for this country by engaging in activities that relate to value addition because that will help the economy and generate more employment opportunities for our youth.
With those few remarks, I beg to second.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I stand to support this very important Vote. In doing so, I want to commend the Minister and his entire staff---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. We have the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Co-operatives and the Vice- Chairman is here.
Is the Vice-Chairman here?
Yes, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Then, he will come after Maj- Gen. Nkaisserry. Let him complete. That is okay! Please proceed!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, he should have pointed that out earlier. This is a very important Vote for our country. It is important that this Ministry is fully supported financially because it is the backbone of this nation.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is too much noise!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I began by saying that I stand to support this very important Vote. I want to commend the Minister and her entire staff for doing a very commendable job under very difficult challenges and circumstances. You will realize that about a year ago, this country was faced with a very serious drought and this Ministry did a commendable job by ensuring that Kenyans were saved from starvation. The only problem that has not been articulated properly in the statement is the food policy. We have not had the opportunity to scrutinize the food policy of the Ministry. The other day, Narok wheat farmers and other farmers were crying that their crop is already harvested and there was nowhere to sell it. There is no clear policy. So, we need that policy to come out very soon! Where I come from is a very dry area. Issues to do with livestock are very difficult. We want to see a research on seeds that can do well in dry areas. Such seeds should be distributed to our areas so that we can change our lifestyle. I have not seen that in the policy of the Ministry. The other point which I think we need to tackle very carefully--- Before, we used to have a Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development. But now, we have two different Ministries. There is one that deals with agriculture and another one with livestock. I am a livestock farmer and I have suffered tremendously. I have lost so many animals and our people have loans with Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC). AFC is harassing the farmers and yet, they have got nothing to repay those loans with. We have requested the Ministry of Finance to try and buy out the farmers by funding AFC, so that it can continue surviving. We even asked and were promised that a moratorium will be given as the Government is looking into this. But the AFC people are continuing to harass our people and we need this to stop. It is very painful to see somebody who cannot pay - not because of his or her wish - but because he is unable to do so. So, I would like to ask the Minister to quickly look into that. Otherwise, the AFC people should stop harassing our people. The other very important issue with regard to this Ministry is quality in terms of livestock. We want to have artificial insemination (AI) re-introduced. This is the work of the Ministry of Livestock Development. But there are some research institutions which combine both livestock and agriculture. We need research to be brought under one roof. Research will assist the Ministry to come up with an agricultural policy that will enhance food production for the benefit of this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, tea, coffee and even sugar cane are very good crops for this country. I am not sure whether enough research has been done on those cash crops to enhance their production and earn this country foreign exchange. If this Ministry looks at the food policy in totality, this country will improve. We will be able to export more crops like sugar, tea and coffee. If the Ministry can do that, then we can move forward. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Mureithi is going to respond on behalf of the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Co- operatives.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you very much. On behalf of the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Co-operatives, I would like to state that we examined this Vote - Vote No.10 for the Ministry of Agriculture. We are very grateful that the Minister for Agriculture was very keen when we went through this Vote. The Ministry has been given the mandate to promote and facilitate production of food and agriculture, raw materials for food security and income, advance agro-based industries and agricultural exports, formulate, implement and monitor policies and legislations to enhance the sustainable use of land resources as a basis for agricultural development. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the agricultural sector provides 80 per cent of the Kenya employment opportunities and it accounts for more than 20 per cent of the country’s GDP. Subsequently, the agricultural sector is an asset requiring substantial amounts of resources to substantively contribute to the achievement of food security, employment creation, income generation, and poverty reduction in the country. However, the Minister informed the committee that the Ministry received a net allocation of just about Kshs8 billion for the Recurrent Expenditure and another Kshs8 billion for Development Expenditure, respectively against a request of Kshs12.7 billion for Recurrent and Kshs8.4 billion for Development Expenditure. The Minister explained that the Ministry was not consulted and that the Treasury unilaterally made the decision to make the cuts in the requested budget. Therefore, the sector continues to attract under-funding which defeats efforts to achieve food self-sufficiency and sustainable rural development. The whole of the agricultural sector is composed of agriculture, livestock, co-operatives, land and fisheries development; it is the mainstay of the economy but has not been given due attention. The gross allocation to the sector stands at 35.8 billion, which accounts for only 3.59 per cent of the total Budget against the 10 per cent which was agreed on at the Maputo Declaration. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister did explain two flagship projects under the Vision 2030, which informed the Budgets of 2009/10 financial year and continued to guide the formulation of 2010/11 financial estimates. The projects were enhancing of Consolidated Agriculture Reform Bill and undertaking a fertilizer three-tier cost reduction programme. The Minister further explained that the Ministry utilized the funds allocated for 2009/10 financial year to record achievements in the following areas. In the extension services, it hosted field days and farm demonstrations, which benefited 2.9 million farmers and procured 34 motor vehicles. Procurement of farm inputs took Kshs500 million from the GoK, Kshs219 million from JICA, Kshs250 million from NIKE, purchased seeds for farmers at Kshs640 million from GoK and used Kshs53 million from the EU and the World Bank to procure fertilizer for the small scale farmers. Another project was the – Njaa Marufuku - which supported 575 communities. There were five tractors in EMS mechanization system; it procured plant implements like prime movers for farmers. It purchased fungicides and insecticides for some farmers, constructed 28 offices in various districts and constructed 57 water harvesting pans in various districts. Under the Economic Stimulus Package, the Ministry spent Kshs233 million to procure farm inputs, fertilizers and chemicals. It increased crop yield and maize as the Minister has enumerated. The Minister, therefore, requested for funds to upscale these successes. In particular, the Ministry proposed to spend the monies allocated to intensify extension services to cover an estimated Kshs3.2 million farmers and absorb donor funding, amounting to Kshs1.6 billion from the World Bank, and Kshs250 million from the GoK to procure fertilizer and other farm inputs. The Minister outlined programmes, that is Pyrethrum Board of Kenya amounting to Kshs245 million under Recurrent Expenditure, the National Accelerated Agricultural Input Access Monetary Programme amounting to Kshs3.3 billion, Coffee Economic Stimulus Programme amounting to Kshs2.3 billion, bulk fertilizer procurement amounting to Kshs3 billion, grants to Agricultural Development Corporation amounting to Kshs122 million, the National Agricultural and Livestock Extension Programme (NALEP), Kshs248 million and Farm Forestry amounting to Kshs127 million. Construction of five silos with a capacity of 40,000 bags each, totaling Kshs82.5 million while the refurbishment of Kilimo House cost of Kshs36 million. The committee was informed that the non-allocation of funds to this programme resulted in a significant reduction that affected various items in the budget and worked to impact negatively on the operations of the Ministry. The Committee was further informed that the Treasury allocated funds to new programmes, which the Ministry had not requested, such as procurement of 30 mobile dryers and installed four maize dryers costing a total of Kshs760 million. Hire of vehicles took Kshs245 million instead of procuring them. Having contractual workers cost Kshs216 million. The committee, therefore, recommended that the allocations to these new programmes which had not been requested for by the Ministry of Agriculture be reallocated to meet the shortfall occasioned by the reductions in the proposed allocations to the requested projects. The Minister concluded by stating that the Ministry of Agriculture has the capacity to absorb the allocated funds to implement its programmes and projects. For example, the Ministry utilized 98.32 per cent of the total allocation for 2008/09 financial year and consumed 96.3 per cent of the allocated funds in 2009/10 financial year. This reflected a satisfactory performance; no wonder the Ministry achieved the first award in the performance contracting. We are concerned that the Ministry’s allocations should not continue to be reduced. After considering the analysis of the estimates and the submission from the Ministry, the Committee noted and recommended as follows. 1. The Committee noted the Minister’s concern that irrigation for which it has been allocated Kshs106 million in 2010/11 was not under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture but is in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, yet irrigation forms part of the wider strategy of the Ministry of Agriculture to increase food security. The Committee therefore, recommended that the irrigation unit be reverted to the Ministry of Agriculture. 2. The committee was concerned by the Minister’s revelation that her Ministry was not allocated any money to purchase maize in the printed estimates; instead, there was as an allocation of Kshs2 billion in the Ministry of Special Programmes to purchase maize for Strategic Grain Reserve. 3. The Committee noted that Strategic Grain Reserve was within the mandate of the Ministry of Agriculture and, therefore, recommended the reallocation for SGR to be redirected to the Ministry of Agriculture to purchase maize for the farmers for planting. 4. The Committee was concerned that the Treasury on its own, without consultation with the affected Ministry, allocated money for projects which have not been considered by the Ministries. We cited the case of mobile driers which were allocated a colossal sum of Kshs260 million in the Ministry of Agriculture. The Committee recommended that the Treasury refers to the Ministries whenever such drastic decisions to reallocate funds to new projects are to be made to allow for effective project implementation and efficient absorption of funds by the affected Ministry. The Committee recommended that the allocation of Kshs216 million to employ extension workers on a temporary contract at the constituency level by the Treasury without consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture instead, be utilized to recruit extension staff at district level on a permanent basis as per the Ministry’s earlier request. The Committee agreed with the Minister’s submission that the agricultural technical institutions should not be converted into universities, because this was impacting negatively on acquisition of extension skills by local farmers. The Committee, therefore, recommended that such plans be stopped immediately, if small scale farmers were to be empowered with the much needed extension services education to boost agricultural productivity. The Committee recommended that full implementation of East African Market Protocol, which imposed duty waiver on wheat and rice, reducing it to 10 per cent, be stopped forthwith, so that farmers do not incur huge losses during the current harvest season. The Ministry sought a three-year moratorium from the East African Community partner states to give farmers time to make adjustments in their farming activities, and respond to the new customs tariffs on crop commodities while also allowing the Ministry of Agriculture to play its role in the consultation with EAC. In respect of exportation of raw crop commodities, the Ministry recommended a process of adding value to them. The Committee noted that farmers have not maximised earnings from investments in agriculture. Due to high cess charges on agricultural products, subsequently, the Committee recommended that the cess be abolished across all agricultural produce to stimulate growth in the agricultural sector and enhance rural development. The Committee noted that substantial amounts in the Budget were allocated to bulk purchase of farm inputs such as chemicals and fertilisers by the Ministry of Agriculture and also from the donations from the development partners in the previous years, 2009/2010. The Committee, therefore, recommended that these farm inputs either be subsidized or donated and be equally distributed across the country to benefit all the farmers.
The Committee also listened to the Minister’s views on horticulture. Horticulture should be considered because most speeches do not talk about horticulture. He said with the current competitive world, we must emphasis on horticulture for the fact that it creates employment.
In conclusion, the Committee recommended that there is need for the agricultural sector to be provided with adequate resources in accordance with the Maputo Protocol which requires all governments to provide ten per cent of their GDP to agriculture in order to boost agricultural productivity and achieve food security and a sustainable livelihood in the country.
With those remarks, I want to commend the Ministry and wish to support the Vote.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this Vote of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, agriculture ranks second after education as a sector that the Government should put more money in. This is the only way we can achieve food security in this country. For a very a long time in Kenya, we have had cycles of drought and food insecurity in certain areas. This has almost become a permanent fixture; it is not a tenable situation. It is now almost 47 years after Independence; by now, we should have established methods of ensuring that no Kenyan starves. Quite often we have talked of irrigation as the answer to our food security. We should no longer depend or rely on rain-fed agriculture. I am surprised that the amount of money allocated to irrigation is so insignificant. I am told it is in another Ministry. As stated by the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives, it should be in the Ministry of Agriculture. This Ministry has been allocated Kshs18.9 billion. This amount is, indeed, insufficient. I agree with the Minister that more money should be allocated to this Ministry, particularly if we want to achieve our food security. We can only implement the policies that have been laid out in the Ministry of Agriculture if we allocate them more funds.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to speak about a few crops such as maize, sugarcane and wheat. I come from an area where these three crops are grown. Farmers make an effort to grow maize, wheat and even sugarcane. However, marketing of this produce becomes a challenge to them. If they cannot sell their produce on time, you will find that the following year, production of the same crops suffers. Year in, year out, when there is a good yield of maize, farmers make delivers and wait for a number of months before they are paid. If we want to achieve food sufficiency, we must pay farmers on time. “On time” means if I deliver today, I should be paid tomorrow.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with respect to wheat, we should not kill wheat production in Kenya. This is a very serious thing. We should not say because production of wheat in Kenya is, probably, more expensive than production of wheat in other countries, therefore, we should import wheat. We should not abandon production of wheat in this country. We should do everything possible even if it means subsidizing wheat production in Kenya to continue producing it. If our consumption of wheat is merely about 15 to 20 million bags and our production is about four million bags, you will find that production is insignificant. But it is very important to the farmers who are dependent on wheat production. So, we can afford to subsidize that small quantity of production, so that we do not kill wheat farming. I know when we talk of trade many people say there should be no subsidies. But in agriculture, we cannot run away from subsidizing production.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, agriculture is arguably the backbone of our economy. It is the backbone of our labour. It is the backbone of our vision to achieve industrialization and development in this country.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when you look at the amount of money given to the Ministry of Agriculture, it is obviously inadequate. The principal envelope maybe small, but I think the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance could have done better. I say so, because there is a lot that the Ministry of Agriculture can do and must do in this country. Up until the early 1990s when the Ministry of Agriculture became a casualty after Kenya fell into the trap of the World Bank engineered reforms called Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs), agriculture used to do very well. We had Field Extension Officers that we still need in almost every corner of this country. We had extension officers for coffee, livestock and even for poultry and all other crops. The ordinary farmer who did not have the know-how in many ways was constantly assisted. The Government was running cattle dips although that is in Ministry of Livestock, but it was part of the Ministry of Agriculture. The Government was running Artificial Insemination (AI) services. It was also running bull camps. The Government was the forerunner and undertaker of marketing. The cereals board was vibrant. A farmer knew where to get credit for inputs from Kenya Farmers Associations (KFA) and knew where to deliver the crop after harvest. All these have gone down the drain. The Kenyan farmer is now left at the mercy of shylocks in the middle who, when you have a bumper harvest, they pick your crop for a song and when there is no food, they sell you at rooftop prices. The ordinary Kenyan suffers greatly. I listened to the Minister as I was driving here and I was impressed that she has very good ideas on what to do with this Ministry. I hope and believe that this House, with the new strategy on budgeting and the new dispensation coming into the country, will empower this Ministry to take agriculture back to where it belongs and make the Kenyan farmer a proud person who will enjoy the proceeds of his or her labour. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I come from a constituency where we grow cane. I urge the Minister to help the cane industry against poachers. A factory like Nzoia, where the Government has overwhelming stakes, gives money to farmers for fertilizers. It also prepares their land; gives them topdressing fertilizer and provides transport for the cane. However, when the cane is mature, poachers come and buy it from the farmer. They then deprive the company that is owned by the Government its right to harvest the cane and recover the inputs. I urge the Minister to liaise with the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security to protect these factories against the cane poachers who run jaggeries and small sugar factories and look for cane without doing anything about its development. Equally, I am aware of similar activities creeping into the tea industry. There is a Bill pending before this House and I urge the Minister to liaise with the hon. Member who brought it as a Private Bill so that she takes it over and enriches it so that it can cover not only poaching in the tea industry, but poaching of crops in all the other sub-sectors of the industry. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is a lot of talk about Kenyan wheat. Kenya is unlikely to win the war against our East African partners. What we must do and should do as Parliament is to subsidize the farmer. This is done everywhere. European farmers are heavily subsidized while French Governments have failed when they failed to subsidize farmers. The Minister should bring to this House a request so that we allocate her money to subsidize the farmers so that they can get the proceeds of their sweat. I support this Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to support Vote 10 – Ministry of Agriculture. As has already been said by my colleagues, the Ministry of Agriculture is definitely the backbone of this economy. If we have to achieve Vision 2030, then this Ministry should be given all the necessary support with all the finances needed so that the Minister can actually fulfill her vision. There are many good things happening in the Ministry, but it is not possible for them to happen without enough funding. Recently, we saw the Government make money available for fertilizer so that farmers could access it cheaply. It is my hope that the Treasury will once again avail money to the Ministry so that we see more fertilizer being distributed all over this country. We saw that even areas that are not traditionally agricultural areas were able to produce bumper crops because of the subsidized fertilizer. The same goes for hybrid seeds which the Minister should ensure are distributed all over the country, depending on the availability of funds. If you look at tea, you will find that the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) is doing a commendable job. It is up to this House to support the Minister so that she can protect the tea industry and give it the support it deserves. It is heartening to see many countries like India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Nigeria send their officers to this country to learn on the successes of the KTDA. This is because the KTDA is a success story. One of my colleagues mentioned something about poaching in the tea industry. It is my hope that the Minister will take over the Bill that was brought by a Private Member so that it can be cleaned up and have the tea sub-sector protected. From that Bill, the hon. Member actually wanted to encourage poaching of tea. His main idea was to allow tea farmers to sell tea even to factories where they are not members. This is a no-go area. We have to protect this industry and let the farmers be assisted where necessary so that they benefit more from the trade. I would like to see the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) revived and branches created in all constituencies in this country. The AFC played its role successfully because farmers were able to source funds very cheaply. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support this Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise here to support this Motion. First, may I take this opportunity to congratulate my good friend the Minister for the appointment to this key Ministry. I have worked with the Minister for many years in the public service. I can say with confidence that she is up to the task and this Ministry is in very good hands. Having said that, let me decry the problems that we encounter in our constituencies. When I was a young boy, and I am not very young now, I used to see Agricultural Extension Officers in my village with khaki uniform written “AD”. Those officers were very useful. They can make a lot of difference. I know that the Ministry, in the past few years, has tried to bring back these officers. However, I can tell you that they are not in existence, particularly in my constituency. We would like to see these people if we want to improve food production in this country. Our peasant farmers practice farming using the traditional methods. They do not even know when to plant, the kind of seeds to plant or the fertilizer to use. It is these officers who will help us improve our farming. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we had very serious drought. My district did not have rains for three consecutive years and we suffered. Finally, we received rain, thanks to God. I commend the Ministry of Agriculture for the role it played in partnering with us and others in providing seeds, particularly maize seeds to our farmers. We grew a lot of food and the first ever bumper harvest in Mwingi happened only recently. We can repeat this many times if the Ministry starts giving seed to our farmers early enough. More often than not, you will see the Ministry of Agriculture coming with seed when the rains have already ended. I hope the Minister will ensure that this time round, we get seeds early.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have just talked about the bumper harvest. This bumper harvest as you know, because your constituency is involved, went into waste because of aflatoxin. This happened because the Ministry did not advise farmers on the right way to store maize. Therefore, we ended up losing all that. If the Ministry had done something better by ensuring that farmers handled their crop properly, we would not be in that mess. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, let me touch on the issue of the price of maize. Maize is being sold at Kshs1,500 per bag. Before the farmers started farming, it was Kshs2,300. It was only after our farmers got the so-called bumper crop that the Ministry of Agriculture decided to lower the price. May I ask that the new Minister, with the experience that she has, ensures that the price of maize goes back to where it was before, so that farmers can benefit. I am sure that we can do a lot more than we are doing in ensuring that this country has food security. This is because any nation that prides itself to be a nation, if it has no food security, cannot be a nation. Therefore, I am sure that the Ministry is up to the task. I urge them to take farming seriously and give us extension officers in the field so that they can help our farmers to grow food crops using the right seeds at the right time. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to support this Motion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, allow me to start supporting this Motion by narrating a story we were told when we were young, of some mythical town in a rural area somewhere. We were told that one day a stranger appeared in that town and asked the people of the town to go into their town hall, whereupon he showed them a video of how their town would look like if they chose development. They were shown very wide highways, high-speed fibre connections, electricity in every house, but alternatively, they were told that they could choose to live in their town as it was. There was a caveat that if they chose to live in Town A with the improvements, then they would have to forego food, but if they chose to live in the town as it was, then they would be assured of food forever. Your guess is as good as mine; they voted to live in their town as it was without improvements with the guarantee that there would be food forever. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in a way, the situation in Kenya today reflects that mythical town. If you look at the tenets of Vision 2030, sometimes you wonder if we may not be approaching things upside down. This is because Kenya actually is attempting to be a middle-income economy before it secures the food needs of her people. In a way, it is a fallacy. All the developed countries of the world; whether it is Germany, Japan or even the middle income economies like Mexico, do not routinely hold out begging bowls to supplement the food needs of their people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in my view, therefore, as the first step towards becoming a middle income economy, we must of necessity involve securing the food needs of our people. For me, the mandate of this Ministry ought to be collapsed into a single statement; “to ensure every Kenyan is guaranteed a full dinner plate wherever they are daily, and that all Kenyans wherever they are in Kenya sleep on a full belly.” To me, that is what ought to be the mandate of this Ministry. Of course, the Ministry, through the new Minister, is trying, but a lot more needs to be done. We know how Kenya was when agriculture was thriving. The rural-urban migration and crime was low. Generally, even the remittances from towns to people in the rural areas were lower. There are so many families in Kenya today who can only survive through remittances from their relatives in town. I think the Minister ought to look seriously at how to reverse this trend. It is not going to be an easy thing to do. It is a tall order for sure, but I know she has the goodwill. I have generally appreciated what she has done in the short time she has been at the Ministry. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, having said that, I think supplementary inter-sectoral interventions also need to be done. We know for a fact that where we have improved transport, the cost of food goes down. It is definitely cheaper to transport food from Mombasa by rail than by road. We should not also shy away from it. We have vulnerable members in our society who need protection. We passed a Bill here to protect the vulnerable members from essential goods only – we are not asking for control of everything – and, therefore, my request and appeal to the President using the Floor of this House would be for him to sign that Bill. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, it is true, of course, that we need fertilizer and chemicals to supplement our agricultural output. But sometimes it is good to think outside the box. Allow me to use the Floor of this House to invite the Minister to Rarieda Constituency to see for herself a demonstration plot which does not use fertilizer or chemicals, but farmers are harvesting 40 bags of maize per acre. I think these are the alternatives we need for our country. Madam Minister, I am asking you to take me seriously so that you see this and we can replicate it in different parts of the country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this very critical Ministry. I also want to congratulate the Minister whom I have known for many years. I know her capacities and capabilities. I also know that the team she works with is up to the task and they will continue to do a good job. I know this for a fact because the Ministry of Co-operative Development and Marketing works very closely with them. In fact, we are an extension of the Ministry of Agriculture. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I suggest that the Treasury looks at the Maputo Declaration which committed the African Governments to give 10 per cent of their budgets to the agricultural sector. We have just been told by the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Co-operatives that it is below 4 per cent, which does not make sense if this economy is to grow. Therefore, we need more funding if the Ministry is going to fulfill its expected job of feeding this nation. We do not want to see Kenyans going out to import food. We do not also want to see Kenyans begging for food. This is because it reduces our international prestige every time we are seen begging and getting aid or even buying food from outside Kenya when we have the land, people and Ministry. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry has over 130 pieces of legislation and policies that guide it. They need assistance and proper funding so that they can consolidate the agricultural laws into one. The resources they have are not enough for that job. The Agricultural Act is an old one. Yes, along the way, it has accommodated a lot of things, but with the new Constitution, we need a new consolidated agricultural Act which we can easily refer to instead of looking at many pieces of legislation. The Cereals Bill and the Fertilizer and Soil Conditioners Bill are important if this country is going to develop. I know that the able Minister and her team are working on the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) (Amendment) Bill and the Pyrethrum (Amendment) Bill, which are very important if the sector is going to take off. To do all those things, they need more resources than they have been given. We are asking the Treasury to find resources for this Ministry so that they can do all the things they want to do for us. Sugar, bixa, coffee, tea, cassava and millet are things that the Ministry should continue working on, whether from a research or extension point of view. The country needs more production of those items. The sugar sector needs to be revitalized. The mills in western Kenya and Nyanza need to be modernized. Their capacity has remained at the same level for years. They were put up a long time ago and they have been like that for 20 to 40 years. The equipment is falling apart. It is time they were assisted even as they embark on privatization and, preferably, before then. It makes sense for the Government to pump resources into those mills so that they can produce enough sugar for this country and also for export. Privatization is in progress and my Ministry is working very closely with them on that particular aspect. I support the idea of the police being involved in what was referred to as cane- poaching. Crop-poaching has also been perfected in Kisii, Mount Kenya region, Ukambani and other areas which grow coffee and tea. There is stealing and hawking of those products. We need police assistance so that people do not hawk coffee and tea in the market streets. They steal coffee and tea at night from the shambas. That makes farmers get very discouraged because they spend time to produce those products and somebody from somewhere finds a way of disposing of those products. The Coffee Board of Kenya should be strengthened so that it can follow the thieves who are stealing coffee and tea from our people. The Ministry of Livestock Development will be the next Vote to be discussed. I support it fully because we are brothers and sisters. The budget of that Ministry, just like that of the Ministry of Agriculture, needs to be strengthened very strongly. I support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. For a long time, Kenya has been known as a country where agriculture is the backbone of the economy. Therefore, the Minister should be given more money to run this Ministry. Before I forget, the best thing that has happened this year is to have the present Minister in that Ministry. We know her history of being a performer. We, in the farming sector, are looking upon her to correct all the ills that have bedeviled the Ministry for many years. I want to commend the Chairman of the Departmental Committee. I agree with his sentiments that the National Cereals and Produce Board should be taken back to the Ministry of Agriculture. The money that is given to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation should be given to the Ministry of Agriculture. That is very important. Those of us who have been involved in agriculture for many years can attest to the fact that, those two institutions should go back to the Ministry so that the Minister can plan to produce food for this country. Trans Nzoia is known as the granary of Kenya. By so saying, we are targeting maize. For many years now, maize has been imported. All we hear about is that we are importing maize. We are tired of hearing that this country is importing maize. That is because we have got the rains, fertile soils and experts. I do not see why Kenya, for whatever reason, should import maize and wheat. That should not be done. I am 100 per cent sure that this Minister will put an end to this culture of importation, when we very well know that those who have been importing maize have been looting money from this nation. We do not want to hear that because many farmers must be supported. I am thinking about farmers in Trans Nzoia and Hola who planted maize. They now have maize but they cannot sell it. That is because we do not have a good policy. A sum of Kshs1.2 billion is owed to farmers in Trans Nzoia. Farmers in Hola who planted maize under the Economic Stimulus Projects have 1,500 bags. They cannot sell that maize because we do not have a good policy. As the Minister addresses the issue of sugar, the sugar sector needs to be reformed. We see areas that should have sugar factories like Busia being ignored. The Minister should be very careful in licensing new players in the sugar sector. Those new players should be taken to areas like Busia where we can grow sugar cane. The Minister should make sure that the same fertilizer that we got last year is available to the farmers now, so that they can plan their budget for next year. If we do not do that, we are going to suffer. The issue of climate change is with us. We want the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Agriculture to educate our farmers about the ravages of climate change. Climate change produces extended droughts and floods which we have experienced. This information should go out to farmers so that they can also plan. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Members, since we have 11 minutes to go, two minutes will be allocated to each Member who wants to contribute. That way, many of you will have the opportunity to contribute to the Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to support the Vote. I want to support this Vote with a lot of disappointment. This is a country that does not seem to have its priorities right. We know that, rich or poor, we all require food. Our priority number one should be food security. I say that in light of the allocation that has been given to the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture, Vote 10, has an allocation of Kshs10 billion for Recurrent Expenditure. I want this country to compare that allocation with the Recurrent allocation that is going to Vote 8, which is the Department of Defence. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to demonstrate to you how upside down our priority is. Many Kenyans are dying of hunger and yet we are allocating more resources to the Ministry of State for Defence. Kenya has not fought any known war since Independence. Presently, Kenya is under no threat from external forces. Nobody dies from this, but many people die from hunger, yet we still do not allocate adequate funds to the Ministry of Agriculture. This country is a signatory to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of them is to secure food security. Having appended our signatures there, we are not making any deliberate efforts to ensure that we secure food security. The allocations that go to agriculture are not spent productively for us to attain food security. We hear that Kshs2 billion is being allocated to buy food. If we spend Kshs2 billion as an investment in agriculture, we will have a long way to go. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to also contribute in support of this Ministry’s Vote. Because of time, I will just highlight three issues. First, with regard to the issue of maize, I would urge the Minister to try and avoid the post-harvest losses. As many have said, the pricing of maize is very low. In fact, farmers are not even getting what they spent in the farms. Secondly, another source of post-harvest losses is aflatoxin in certain areas that produce maize. My constituency and the entire of Makueni District are affected by aflatoxin. In that regard, I urge the Minister to supply those areas with driers. I heard the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Co-operatives say that driers were never asked for from the Treasury by the Ministry. However, since they have been given, even if they are going to re-allocate some money, in some areas, the driers are required. This is because drying of maize in areas like Oloitokitok to the required level of 13.5 is not possible. So, I urge that those driers be provided to serve those areas. Finally, I heard the Chairman of the relevant Committee say that the Irrigation Department should be taken to the Ministry of Agriculture, which I fully support. I also urge that the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC), currently under this Ministry, either be split into two or taken to the Ministry of Livestock Development. It is not addressing the needs of the livestock farmers who take loans from the AFC. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I rise to support this Vote, I wish the Minister well in a Ministry that has so much controversy. We ask for food sufficiency and more production and when prices fall, maybe due to increased production, we still complain that the prices are low. So, a delicate balance is required. It is our right to cry to the Ministry and we expect more to be done every other time. I want to highlight two issues. Just like my colleagues have said, there are a myriad of Government Departments and Ministries dealing with food security. You have the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) on this side, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation on another and the Ministry of Agriculture on the other side. You would not expect a farmer in Loitokitok, Bura and Hola to know which Ministry to run to when he needs or requires seeds and which Ministry to run to when they require water. It is so complex. If these Government Ministries and agencies could be collapsed into one, so that, at least, our farmers would not have the burden of trying to envisage when and which Ministry to run to, we would really appreciate. The other issue is about pricing. I do not know why pricing becomes a very big problem when it comes to more production within the country, but it does not become an issue when you have so much importation from outside. The prices do not seem to fall when the Government imports millions of tonnes of maize from outside, but when we have a bumper harvest in Mwingi, Loitokitok and Bura, the prices have to ultimately come down, with all this cry that there is aflatoxin and other side shows. The Ministry only seems to be on its toes when Members of Parliament are crying on the Floor of this House. There was all the talk about aflatoxin and we were promised that maize would be bought from the farmers, but I do not think anything has happened. I have not seen any purchase of aflatoxin infected maize or even good maize from Bura. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support the Vote of this Ministry and wish to thank the Minister for eloquently moving the Motion. I sat for almost three hours, but I will highlight three things. Agriculture is the backbone of this country. If we fix agriculture, we will have done a lot of justice to the people of Kenya. As you know, 80 per cent of Kenyans are employed by this sector and 20 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from agriculture. So, we need to fix it, so that we can move forward. With regard to the issue of extension services, we need to fund our extension workers. There is no way our farmers will get to know the findings from our research stations, if they are not given sufficient information by the extension workers. With regard to the issue of research, we are happy that the Ministry has come up with about 14 varieties of crops through research. This is being prolific and we need to support our officers for doing a good job. On the issue of irrigation, 78 per cent of Kenya is ASAL. We need to give a lot of funds to the irrigation sector, so that many of our people in ASAL areas can benefit. Lastly, I want to advise the Minister to borrow a lot from the policy of the current President of Malawi, President Mutharika, on how he has transformed that country by using subsidies in the agricultural sector to catapult the GDP growth to almost 7 per cent. We need our officers to go to Malawi and get a lot of information, so that in the next three years, we can use the information. If we want to achieve Vision 2030, we need to borrow a lot from Malawi, which is relatively a very poor country. With those remarks, I support the Motion in full force.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. I congratulate the Minister for moving a very well articulated Motion. As I support this Motion, I would like to echo what my colleagues have said about having deliberate policies that should encourage food security in this country. I come from an agricultural area. It is amazing that currently, farmers are the poorest people and yet we rely on them to feed this country. We need to deliberately decide how we will approach the issue of food security. We have been among the nations which have been disputing the issue of food subsidies in the West. But it is time that we, as a country, decided that when it comes to food security, it is our priority and we must give subsidies. There is no way a farmer will produce anything and make a profit when the prices of foodstuffs are escalating and we know that our people will not afford. The Ministry should, therefore, come up with policies which will address the issue of how farmers can produce food for us as well as make money out of it. When I joined the Ministry of Agriculture in the early 1980s, there used to be something called Guaranteed Minimum Returns (GMR). I am wondering what happened to it. I would urge the Minister to re-introduce it. It is very important that farmers have security when they are producing their produce. Whether we are going to come up with minimum or maximum acreage for food production in the new Constitution, it is very important that the Ministry starts to re-looks at how food is produced in this country. If, for example, last year we did not produce anything, how are we going to take care of that? We need to either give subsidies or we re-introduce the GMR. With those remarks, I support.
Thank you very much. It is now 4.40 p.m. and I ask the Minister, Dr. Kosgei, to reply.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me assure the hon. Member near me here that we have a policy on mango production. We discussed it with the horticultural group and the Agriculture Committee. So, we are looking into that sub-sector.
Let me thank all those hon. Members who have contributed to this Vote, and for their support. I want them to know that we are very much guided by the issue of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). If we cannot live by that and the Maputo Agreement, then all of us, indeed, stand to be condemned by history. Unless we can feed our people, we have no business saying that we can govern. That is my belief.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to especially thank the agriculture committee not only for what they have said today, under the chairmanship of my friend, hon. Mututho, who walked in as we were finishing, but for their insights, contribution and input into our thinking process in the Ministry of Agriculture. We value that. We do not always agree, but we do make progress.
Let me assure hon. Nkaisserry, and those hon. Members who have raised the issue of the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC), that although livestock falls under another Ministry, we are concerned. As I assured him in Kajiado, we are going to develop a Paper and present it to the Cabinet with a view to assisting those people who suffered. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as far as wheat is concerned, we have some negotiated position. We think the farmers should be able to work for now, but my position has always been that we cannot overtax them before we have arranged the subsidies. That has not changed. To those who have talked about the importation of maize and the prices of maize, let me say that Kenya will not import maize unless it is abundantly clear to all and sundry that this has to be done. Our aim should be to encourage production. So, it will not happen unless it is clear to all of us. If someone else does it with a licence from elsewhere, the House and the rest of us should be able to call them to account. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Busia Sugar Factory is long overdue. We are working on that to see what can be done. I know that it is an old issue. There was a time when it was supposed to happen. It did not happen. We are still working on it. We are focussed on it. However, as I try constantly with my staff and the agricultural team to streamline some of these problems in the sugar industry, we are constantly threatened as if some hon. Members here do not want the sugar industry revitalised. We, in the Ministry, are determined to go ahead and revitalise it whichever way, without fear or favour. I want to specifically address the problem of aflatoxin. Although we did not ask for these machines, they have been given to us. The position given by the committee on agriculture is our position. We cannot go and dry maize and then have nowhere to take it. We want to tie the drying to the silos, so that once we dry the maize, we are able to store it. If a farmer brings his maize, or you go and dry his maize in his backyard and leave, and then it rains, what happens? That is why we want to tie the drying of the maize to the silos. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as for the prices of maize, as raised by hon. Musila and others, let me say that, that was not my price. It came as part of a committee decision. With a light touch, you, as a former long-serving civil servant, will probably have read that sometimes committees do not come out with desired results. We want the market to dictate the prices that we pay. As a matter of fact, we cannot insist that we pay Kshs2,300 per bag of maize, because we have to factor into it what the demand and supply sides alongside what we have done to assist the farmers, but it cannot be as low as Kshs1,500. That does not give us the guaranteed minimum returns. We are aware. We are alive, and we are working very hard to see that we can, in fact, ensure that farmers are paid. I keep hearing that there are some farmers in the North Rift, who have not received their money. I want to confirm that all the people who delivered their maize by last March have been paid. We do not normally get up on roof tops to sing what we do, but we have done that. The reason for saying it here is so that I stop getting messages asking, “When are you going to pay” when we have actually paid. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I spoke at length about the need for extension workers. I am pleased that it has been noted that this is important. There is no way farmers can make terraces, as they used to do in the past, without the guidance of extension workers, especially now that we want to preserve the environment. That is why we are looking for a little more funding to make sure that we have enough extension workers, who are well trained, and who can assist the farmers. About the training institutions, Tana River needs some proper training and proper development. We want that area developed. It is so vital for our food security. That is why we constantly ask for funding for that area. That is the same with the North Eastern Province, because we are accustomed to thinking that people in the North Eastern Province cannot produce food. They can if we give them proper irrigation. The soil is good enough. We are investigating all that. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to agree with those who have said that it does not make sense at all for the Ministry of Agriculture to be asked to surrender its training institutions to other institutions of higher learning, and then be told: “Produce extension workers”. Where are we going to get them from? We are not going to ask the Treasury to give us money to build new training institutions. So, if we need institutions for higher learning, which we support, they are to be sourced from elsewhere rather than crush the Ministry of Agriculture and, therefore, the farmers and the consumers of our products. With those remarks, I beg to move.
Hon. Members, we now move to the next Motion, which is on the Vote of the Ministry of Livestock Development. Dr. Kuti!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Speaker do now leave the Chair. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the livestock sub-sector remains an important component of our economy, contributing over 13 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 45 per cent of the total agricultural GDP. The sub-sector is not only a major economic and social activity for rural communities, but also affects national security. With declining land resources, and the nature of livestock-keeping activities, the sub-sector is becoming increasingly important in maintaining the livelihoods of households across the country as it provides the pathway out of poverty. Within ASALs, livestock production contributes 90 per cent of employment opportunities, while in the higher rainfall areas of the country, the dairy industry is a major source of income to over one million households. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as you are aware, our country is implementing Vision 2030. Towards that end, my Ministry developed and recently launched a strategic plan aimed at harnessing and focusing our energies and resources towards achieving the Livestock Sector Development Objectives as outlined in Vision 2030. Key areas recognised under Vision 2030 are creation of the disease-free zones to facilitate the export market, rehabilitation of rangelands to provide adequate fodder, forage and water in ASALs, value addition to livestock products, and development of improved livestock marketing infrastructure. In the medium-term period from 2008-2002, the Ministry is supposed to establish two disease-free zones. Those are the Coast region and the Laikipia-Samburu-Isiolo complex.
We are having challenges with the Laikipia-Samburu-Isiolo Complex because when the livestock sub-sector declined in the 1980s, most of the ranchers converted their ranches to conservancies whereby wildlife, to a larger extend, replaced livestock. Keeping wildlife requires a corridor of passage while the disease-free zones require creation of a double fence to ensure exit and entry is controlled. This has created a lot of challenges in the Laikipia-Samburu-Isiolo Complex, but for the Coast, it is moving on and we hope to complete it by 2012.
We also realized that as a method of export, we will not only wait for the creation of disease-free zones because they are very costly and very involving but we decided to move on to contact countries that would send their directors of veterinary services. In collaboration with the two directors of veterinary service, we have established several export markets for our livestock while we also continue working on the disease-free zones. Due to these efforts, I would like to announce to the House that every week we are able to export about 1,200 head of cattle and about 4,000 goats and sheep. This has remarkably improved the price of goats and sheep. While we were going round to campaign for the passage of the Constitution, I was in North Horr and the farmers there are very pleased. They say that the price has now shot up from Kshs800 in the past to about Kshs2, 500 and in the markets here in Nairobi where goats were selling for about Kshs3, 000 or Kshs4, 000 they are currently selling for over Kshs7, 000. Therefore, this has improved the income to the primary producer who in the past used to suffer a lot.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, during the current Financial Year, 2010/2011 my Ministry has been allocated Kshs3,557,288,600 for Recurrent Expenditure and Kshs2,955,348,632 for Development Expenditure. Out of the recurrent allocation of Kshs3.5 billion, a total of Kshs2, 895,836,848 will be utilized for personnel related expenditures. Our development partners, to whom we are grateful, have pledged to provide loans amounting to Kshs472, 391,543 and grants amounting to Kshs143, 597,947. Overall, the recurrent budget decreased by Kshs1, 134,044,050 compared to the last financial year. This decrease was occasioned by non-provision of drought mitigation in the current Financial Year which I think will greatly affect the farmer, should there be any. We hope that when it happens, in collaboration with Treasury, we will be supported like the last drought. There is also the reduction in some core expenditure items from my Ministry such as fuel, purchase of veterinary supplies and so on. Fuel is very critical for extension service officers to move around and visit farmers where they are. Equally critical are veterinary supplies because that is the core business of the Ministry; to ensure that livestock health and disease is controlled.
On the other hand, the development budget increased by Kshs1, 770,440,597 compared to the last financial year. This increase was in recognition of the need to implement critical projects in the livestock sub-sector to stimulate its growth as identified under the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP). Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, before expanding on how my Ministry intends to utilize the funds allocated for the Financial Year, 2010/2011, I would like to update hon. Members on the overall performance and achievement of the livestock sector during the last financial year. Appropriate measures were taken to control major livestock diseases through vaccination, disease surveillance, quarantines, public education and awareness creation to mitigate adverse effects of diseases and minimize economic losses. During the last financial year, my Ministry carried out vaccination of over 8 million animals, continued to monitor Rinderpest, which we declared completely eradicated and we have a certificate from the World Animal Health Organization (WHO) that monitors trade-sensitive diseases. We now have an eradication certificate for Rinderpest, but we still continue monitoring it. Where outbreaks of foot and mouth disease, avian influenza and Rift Valley Fever were reported, control measures were instituted. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, trade control services are critical in most parts of the country. My Ministry, in collaboration with the African Development Bank (ADB), is implementing the Pan-African Trypanosomiasis, Tsetse Eradication and Control Project (PATTEC) whose objective is to control tsetsefly in 39 districts in the Meru/Mwea, Lake Victoria and Lake Bogoria regions. Appropriate technologies were disseminated to livestock keepers to keep tsetsefly at manageable levels and mass treatment for affected animals was carried out. The initiative significantly reduced livestock deaths from Trypanosomiasis and encouraged livestock keeping in those areas. To demonstrate the effectiveness of these projects, tsetsefly density in Ruma National Park has been reduced to zero levels now. My Ministry places high priority in offering extension services to livestock keepers and training them on new methods and technologies of livestock management. Over Kshs2 million livestock farmers and pastoralists were reached through extension services by my Ministry through various forums. In light of limited resources and the desire to reach more livestock farmers, my Ministry in line with the National Agricultural Sector Policy (NASEP) is encouraging collaboration and networking with stakeholders such as the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK), Livestock Breeders Association (LBA), Kenya Livestock Producers Organization and civil societies to provide extension services. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in order to support implementation of technologies and methods given by my Ministry, livestock keepers were able to secure improved breeding materials consisting of cattle, sheep, goats and rabbits from the Ministry farms spread across the country. In addition, the dairy industry benefitted immensely from Artificial Insemination (AI) services from the Central Artificial Insemination Service Station. The station produced over 1.7 million doses of semen that were distributed, through Ministry staff, to private AI service providers thereby providing employment for our youths. As you are aware, my Ministry is responsible for the safety of foods of animal origin. Towards this end, the Ministry undertook meat inspection in four new municipalities. This programme is a gradual take-over from the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation which used to do meat inspection. Every year, we take over as many municipalities as we recruit more staff. Therefore, this year, we were able to take over four new municipalities. While surveillance and quality control of milk products was strictly monitored by the Kenya Dairy Board, our farmers have not received full value for their products because they are usually sold raw or semi-processed. In order to ameliorate this situation, my Ministry has embarked on training farmers on value-addition and agri- business for various products like leather, honey, milk and meat; providing milk coolers, linking farmers to processors, construction of strategic modern slaughterhouses as in Isiolo, Garissa, Wajir and many more places in this Financial Year. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, to ensure that qualified personnel are available to deliver quality service to livestock keepers, the Ministry continued to train pre-service students at Animal Health and Industry Training Institute ( AHITI) Ndomba, AHITI Nyahururu, AHITI Kabete and also at the Meat Training School / Dairy Training Institute, Naivasha. In the financial year 2009/2010, over 1,000 students graduated from these institutions with certificates of various livestock health and management skills. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in recognition of the role played by livestock in supporting livelihoods of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) communities, my Ministry in collaboration with the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) is implementing the ASAL Project that has provided communities with grants to implement livestock supporting projects such as water development, value addition of various livestock products and support to livestock health management. In high rainfall areas, the Ministry in collaboration with IfAD is implementing smallholder dairy commercialization projects in nine districts. During the last financial year, the project was able to purchase coolers for groups, training milk hawkers, purchase dairy goats for vulnerable members of the communities such as those affected or infected by HIV/AIDS. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, while our achievements reflect concerted efforts of the entire Ministry staff, I would like to point to the various challenges my Ministry faced while implementing these programmes and projects. The key constraint has been inadequate funding, understaffing, insecurity in livestock producing areas, recurrent droughts, disease outbreaks, inadequate transport and shortage of water and forage for livestock. In the current financial year, the Ministry will apply the allocated funds as follows:- Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, just to give you an illustration on this issue of resource allocation--- Resource allocation is not only very limited but sometimes, it is also skewed. I would like to give an example of farmers in Mandera. You know very well Mandera is a livestock district but you will be surprised that the District Veterinary Officer (DVO) in Mandera gets Kshs500,000 as Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE) for that whole year when the District Agricultural Officer (DAO) in Mandera gets Kshs5 million for the same period. So these resources are from the same Government but the allocation is so skewed that you will wonder what the DAO in Mandera will do with Kshs5 million. Of course it may not be enough for the activities he may be having but you will be surprised at what l a DVO or the DLPO will do with Kshs500,000 for one whole year. This is an example to illustrate exactly how much depressed we are in trying to achieve the goals and the mandate that the Ministry has been given. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will now proceed to tell the House how I will apply the allocated funds. In the Recurrent Vote R19, the Ministry will recruit 500 technical staff who will be deployed to various field stations to strengthen service delivery, especially the extension services which is crucial. The provincial staff in my Ministry will be facilitated to supervise, train, monitor, evaluate and guide district staff in the 270 districts who will be dealing with the implementation of various programmes and projects. At the district level, we expect to reach over 1.5 million farmers directly in view of the limited resources allocated. Towards this end, the Ministry has allocated Kshs193 million. A further Kshs15 million has been allocated to purchase motorcycles to improve transport for the field officers. To continue building capacity and skills for the livestock sector, the Ministry will support five training institutions with Kshs103 million to train in-service and pre-service manpower. In addition, the Ministry will support pastoral training Centres in Narok, Giriftu and mobile training units to farmers in specialized pastoral skills. The Ministry has allocated Kshs32 million to support nine livestock improvement stations, four animal production farms and four veterinary farms. These farms will provide improved breeding stock to be sold to farmers while the veterinary farms will provide biological materials and specimen herd for assessing efficacy of veterinary drugs and diseases. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry headquarters is housed at Kilimo while its technical departments are based at Kabete and Hill plaza. The Ministry has allocated Kshs275 million for operations and maintenance. These include payments of utilities, Kshs28 million rent for Hill Plaza, OIE, and AU for Heifer Regional Offices. I would like to say that OIE is a new input where the Government has committed to house the regional headquarters of OIE. OIE is the institute that controls trade sensitive diseases among livestock and their closeness here will improve and contribute significantly to exporting of our livestock, maintenance of vehicles in all stations and support to supervision and monitoring of livestock quality implementation. In the Development Vote D19, my Ministry has embarked seriously on the implementation of Vision 2030 projects. Under this arrangement, the Ministry has been allocated Kshs150 million to start establishment of Coast and Isiolo-Laikipia disease free zones. To complete eradication of tsetse fly in the Meru, Mwea, Lake Victoria and Lake Bogoria regions, the Ministry has allocated Kshs421 million. To ensure livestock production and productivity, my ministry has allocated Kshs728 million to improve semen production from the central Artificial Insemination (AI) stations, promote smallholder dairy and poultry commercialization, rehabilitate and improve rangeland productivity and support ASAL livestock livelihood, rehabilitate veterinary investigation laboratories and farm infrastructure. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, last and not least, I want to thank the Government for recognizing the need to facilitate accelerated growth of livestock sector through the Economic Recovery Stimulus programme. Under this programme, my Ministry was allocated Kshs1.5 billion to undertake the following projects:-
Rehabilitation of bee production in ten selected ranches, establishment of piglets, branding of livestock in insecurity prone---
Order, Mr. Minister! Your time is up can you---
Excuse me, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I need only two minutes! I will finish!
Order, Mr. Minister!
So they have five rural tanneries, recruitment of contractual technical employees and hiring of transport to facilitate in the implementation of the VSC. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in concluding my remarks I want to underscore the role played by the five parastatals namely; the Dairy Board, the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) and the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). In the current financial year---
Order! Can you give your final concluding remark?
The final concluding remark, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, is that I want this approved. I also need the support of the hon. Members in view of the depressed allocation of resources that really hampers us in execution of our mandate.
Who is seconding your Motion?
I beg to move and ask Dr. Wekesa to second.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to second this Motion. I commend the Minister for having steered this Ministry to a level that was not expected. As you know, many people do not realize that this Ministry actually addresses the issue of food production. Most people tend to only believe that wheat, maize and beans is food. However, they never think that milk and meat is also food. Look at the number of Kenyans who eat meat and drink milk. This is an issue of food security. Just like we said under the Ministry of Agriculture, this Ministry must be given enough funding so that they can address the issue of food security. A hungry man is a very dangerous man. We know that the spear and gun are sources of insecurity but I want to stress the fact that a hungry man is a very dangerous person. This Ministry, therefore, must be given enough money to make sure that food production is at the highest level. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to congratulate the Minister for having sourced market for products of livestock farmers. For example, goats that were costing Kshs3, 000 to Kshs4, 000 for many years, currently cost Kshs7, 800. The reason for this is that the Minister and his staff have tried to create an environment where farmers, particularly those in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) have access to markets inside and outside Kenya. I want to urge the Minister to continue in that direction because the final aim for any farmer is to make money. Those who are in beef farming or dairy farming ought to make ends meet. The dairy industry has been hit by various problems; decreasing sizes of farms and various diseases such as the foot and mouth disease which have been dealt with by this Ministry. As I said, they need more money so that they can employ more staff. We should have more extension officers to deal with issues of animal husbandry. I am thinking of dairy farmers. You cannot make money selling milk alone. If you are a dairy farmer - I can assure you I have been a dairy farmer - you also need to sell your heifers. You need to have a market for your steers. You need to have a market for those cows that have passed production stage. That way, you are able to make some money. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of disease free zones has been in discussion for many years; close to 20 years. We started talking about disease free zones when the European Union (EU) put an embargo on our livestock products. It is the only window available to our farmers to export meat and some livestock. Therefore, we need to have enough funds in this Ministry so that the Minister can deal with this issue of disease free zones which will facilitate export and rehabilitation of our rangelands. Many of the residents of ASAL and pastoralists depend on the sale of goats and cattle. The Minister should be empowered with enough funds to open up rangelands so that we can address the issues of fodder.
Is it not ten minutes?
Minister, just make your final remarks!
I beg to second.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Motion. In supporting, I wish to apologize for having not been in the House in time to support the Vote of the Ministry of Agriculture. My able deputy, however, did it on my behalf. This was as a result of an emergency in Naivasha. Having said that, I want to limit myself to the actual situation. Observing Standing Order No.81, I want to say that I was a hard working officer in that Ministry 32 years ago. The other day I was driving and I saw a vehicle which was ten years old then; GK 914L, a Landover, still serving. That is a 44-year old vehicle and it is expected to be serving in the Ministry of Livestock Development. The other time when we were campaigning for YES I travelled to North Eastern and realized that most of those former range management offices have been converted into district headquarters and District Commissioners (DCs) and Provincial Commissioners (PCs) are enjoying the services. That notwithstanding, I went to Isiolo and the livestock holding ground and the big vehicles that used to transport animals are all gone. The import of this or the short and tall of this is that this Ministry has been cannibalized to the bone. As a chair and having declared my interest, I want to state that even what they are doing now; 12.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a bonus. We are supposed to be net consumers of our resources yet these hard working and marginalized people are still able to do 12.5 per cent GDP. The situation has remained that way because of our perception that those who do not wear fancy suits like me and those who carry spears and walk around arid and rangelands are lesser mortals; and, that we who belong to the upper class belong to the civilized and western world. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I say this with a lot of bitterness because it is us who can afford to eat the meat. The people who keep livestock can no longer afford to buy meat and consume it themselves. All that this Ministry is asking is for us who sit in the ivory towers to consider disease free zones so that the steak you like enjoying in steak houses and burger houses can be proper. Livestock producers themselves will not afford to eat that meat. It is for your benefit. That is why we fully support an elevated budget to this Ministry, given the wide scope of what they are expected to do. Drought hits the poorest hardest. There are no mitigating measures. The boreholes which we dug in the 1970s and 1980s for livestock no longer belong to the Ministry. The fire breaks no longer function. Thank God we do not have bush fires anymore because we do not have pasture.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to say that a solution should be found now. One of the solutions is to look at what we, in this House, did a couple of months ago. We passed, as an emergency measure, a bank guarantee for US$100 million. That money has not been used and yet, it was meant to be for food security.
That money should now be made available to this Ministry, particularly in the re- development of the Lorian Swamp. Lorian Swamp is one place only known to a few people who care to know how much Kenya owns. We have enough water stored there to feed not only the whole of North Eastern, but also Nairobi for over 100 years. In the Lorian Swamp, there is a very big lake there and it is fresh water.
Such money which was supposed to be taken--- I say this as the Chairman for the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives. You know that I know that all was not well in the maize imports. I do not want to go into that because it upsets me. But US$100 million which has already been approved by this House should be made available to the Ministry of Livestock Development and Ministry of Agriculture. They should work as a team this time round. They should produce cereals and other materials so that we can have feedlots operating in that area and then have high quality livestock coming from that particular zone. We cannot come to this House and fail due to ignorance of the fact that, that guarantee does not exist. I sit in the Budget Committee and that guarantee has not been dispensed of and it is available for food security. Let us be upright and bold enough to allow these two Ministries to access that credit line, so that they can stand on their feet.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the Ministry, we talk about Central Artificial Insemination Services (CAIS). Obviously, and having done the Bill on alcohol, I thank the livestock people because the bulls in Central Province are not affected by the alcohol problem. But we know that our cows are affected by bulls and CAIS. If you under-fund this particular sector, all you are saying is that the bulls will access their off- spring. That is because, over time, if you do not replenish, the heifers which mature after 18 months will have to access semen from their fathers and grandfathers. Some of these things need not be discussed here. So, when CAIS asks for more money, we are simply saying: “Let us avoid a situation where the cow’s grandfather and father mates with the granddaughter.” That is what it means when you see CAIS asking for additional money. If you have to maintain that service, then you should look at it in that light. We fully support what the Ministry is trying to do!
With regard to Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute (KEVEVAPI), everybody knows epidemiology; that is the science of how diseases spread. All of us can be wiped out today – and God forbid - by an outbreak of a certain disease or another. Most deadly diseases are actually viral. Viral diseases can be controlled through a vaccine production programme. We have an institution which has a capacity and ability to do the vaccines for this country. A few years ago – about two or three years ago – we had an outbreak in the small stock sector. We continue having all types of flu like avian and others. Again, some of those things should be taken as a national emergency to the extent that people asking for money to improve on the vaccine production capability should not be a debate in this House. We should afford that luxury because we have the infrastructure to allow those hard working officers - I understand the Institute has also been denied the right to recruit younger ones--- All of them may be phased out by time if they are not urgently attended to over the next couple of years. That is because some of my colleagues then are still serving in that Ministry and we are talking about 30 or 40 years ago. Without the recruitment of staff, the Ministry dies a natural death. This Ministry is unfortunate enough; it is really vulnerable. Every time you want to merge Ministries, the first one to go is the Ministry of Livestock Development. Every time you want to split, the first one to be split is the Ministry of Livestock Development and it leaves all the resources there. Every time you want to build new Ministries, again the Ministry of Livestock Development is the one you make sure that it is under-funded. That cycle goes on and on in spite of the fact that, even the skeleton bit of it is still doing 12.5 per cent of the GDP.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, most of the land here is classified as rangeland. About 75 per cent of our land is rangeland. This is basic science. When 75 per cent of our land cannot be attended to because we want to ignore this Ministry of Livestock Development, then something is inherently wrong in our planning. Our planning should include, among other things, security. The insecurity we hear about can be resolved by one helicopter which is automated to use infrared technology and laser guided automatic weaponry. This will control the menace affecting the people in West Pokot and Turkana. They will not have a problem. That problem can be resolved by opening up the roads so that people can assess those areas fast enough.
When I looked at the budget of the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security, everybody was talking about Kshs40 billion. That is bullshit! It cannot be Kshs40 billion! It is Kshs3.9 billion! That is the amount of money which is being voted for development; the rest of it is salaries. What are they going to do? Are they going to buy Land Rovers with Kshs3.9 billion? Are they going to buy helicopters? Are they going to repair the ageing Russian made helicopters and then control cattle rustling? Are they going to service their G3 rifles instead of buying more modern weaponry? There is a problem and we, as hon. Members, need to support this Ministry. By supporting this Ministry, we are supporting 75 per cent of the land mass in Kenya. In supporting this Ministry, we are supporting 25 per cent of our population directly dependent on this. You are also supporting 50 per cent of the labour generated from agriculture.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know and I quote from Mr. J.M. Kariuki when he stood on this same Floor, and Mr. Mwangale, when he presented the Report on Mr. J.M. Kariruki’s murder. This is what he had to say: “A hyena was talking to a stone and the stone was right there and the hyena had this to say. “I will keep saying it! I will keep talking about it because even if you cannot answer, you will have heard.” This Parliament has heard! We cannot sit here and signify the death of a whole community, a whole section of the country and yet, we are talking about one country; one nation.
The birth of a new Constitution heralds the birth of several counties. Those counties are going to bring hope to our people. But even with that, we still need the central Government to bring equitable development through funding of such Ministries like this one and the one in charge of arid lands. We should not kill the Ministry of Agriculture in the name of promoting a sister Ministry, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. They are going to have Kshs21 billion for irrigation, even though they have only 5 or 10 per cent of engineers and technical capability of what the Ministry of Agriculture has.
With those few remarks, I beg to support wholeheartedly.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you. I stand to support the Motion. First, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government for putting more money into the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC). But I would like to see more money being put into it. The KMC used to employ many people from my constituency and, as we talk now, there are some workers who are being laid off because there is no money for expansion. I would really like the Minister to look into that because in the first place the factory was put there to try and create job opportunities for my people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also have the Meat Training Centre in Athi River. There is a lot of land and the Meat Training Centre can also be expanded. We need to expand it for more people to be trained there and also create employment. During the famine, a lot of our people lost their livestock. I would like the Minister to tell us what they will do about restocking. Right now we have a lot of cattle being stolen from our area. Cattle rustling activities do not only occur in the semi-arid areas. It is also happening in our place although not to the extent that it happens on the other side. So, we need to know what the Ministry will do about restocking. We have markets that are not properly built for selling cattle. The Ministry also needs to provide facilities where we can go and sell our livestock. In addition to that I just want to thank the Government again for reviving the KMC. We need more money put into the KMC, so that we can provide employment. We have over 600 people who were laid off from the KMC and they are hanging around Athi River District, thereby posing a lot of security threat. Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. First, I want to take this opportunity to thank the Ministry for the good job it is doing. For the last two years, we have seen a lot of improvement in the Ministry, and I want to thank the Ministry for that. Having said that, I would like to see the Ministry become proactive. The ASAL areas are huge. If this country has to develop, these are the areas we have to focus on. So, I would like to see the Ministry coming up with new methods of livestock production in these areas. In particular, I want the Ministry to focus on rangeland management. We have to manage rangelands actively. We can no longer continue managing our rangeland resources the way we have done before. We need to come up with programmes on how to harvest forage. When it rains and we have enough forage we must come up with methods on how to store this forage for the dry period. We must come up with methods on how to produce forage in the rangelands. We cannot just continue to wait for rains to come. About climate change, studies have shown that the ASAL areas are the most vulnerable to climate change. Therefore, we must move away from the old paradigm of livestock production to a new paradigm, where we have to go for active livestock production. We must bring in irrigation programmes to be able to grow fodder. So, that is an area that I would like to ask the Ministry to look into. The other area is that of animal health and disease control. This is an area that the Ministry still needs to focus on. We have a lot of animals dying every year due to disease outbreaks, and we want the Ministry to direct more focus to this area. In the high potential areas, most of the dips that were made have all collapsed. We need the Ministry to come up with a marshal plan on how to rehabilitate the dips, so that they become functional. In high potential areas dairy farming has become a difficult issue because of disease control. So, that is an area that we need to focus on. Because of poor management, we have had diseases like Rift Valley Fever coming back after so many years. So, the Ministry needs to focus on Rift Valley Fever which, is a disease that is very detrimental to industry. The other areas which I need to commend the Ministry on is provision of extension services. He has clearly said that he will employ over 500 extension officers. This is very important because the Ministry lacks extension officers. The other area which I would like the Ministry to focus on is not only just livestock. We need to look at bee-keeping. I have not heard the Minister talk about bee- keeping or rabbit husbandry. Rabbits are animals that can be reared very easily by poor families; they can generate a lot of income for the poor families. We need to see rabbit rearing being promoted. We need to see piggery. We have not talked about it. I know that the Minister is a Muslim, but pig farming is a very important industry and we need to promote it. The Minister has also not talked a lot about dairy goats. Dairy goats are also an area where small scale farmers can earn a living from. Finally, I want to say that research and development are extremely important to this Ministry. Therefore, I would like to see the Ministry putting some good money to research and development. I wish to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to start by thanking the Minister and his staff for the very good job they are doing in supporting the livestock industry. I also want to congratulate the chairman of the departmental committee for his comments although I disagree with him entirely on the concept of using helicopters to track down cattle rustlers. I want to remind him that on 26th December, 1996 cattle rustlers brought down one helicopter which carried a District Commissioner. I think the solution to this problem would be to support a budget for branding. The Minister has done branding before but because of inadequate funding he has not been able to do it in totality. If you brand in one district and do not brand in another one then it becomes very difficult to identify the animals. There is also new technology that uses ICT. There is a gadget that can be embedded in the bowels in the stomach of the cow, and it can be used to trace animals for the purpose of security. I would also want to encourage the Ministry to support rangeland development, the making of hay, or the whole area of animal feeds. Right now there is a lot of grass in the country, particularly in Laikipia, Samburu and those other areas. In fact, I am worried that when it stops raining and begins to get dry, the next danger we will face is fires. I think this is the time the Ministry should harvest this grass and stock it in preparation for exhibition in case we have a severe drought. I want to congratulate the Minister for recruiting a number of veterinarians and we still need more of them. I am glad that he has employed extension officers. But I think we also need to encourage farmers’ field days, so that farmers, as a way of extension service, can teach others. The Minister has talked about disease-free zones and holding grounds. But I am not seeing any movements towards securing the various holding grounds from the north to the KMC. We also need to get better breeds to our farmers. We need to support the Central Artificial Insemination Centre and link it up with the Kenya Stud Book. We want our farmers to register modern breeds, so that they can get better markets inside and outside the country. Disease control is also very important. Kenya Veterinary Vaccine Production Institute (KEVEVAPI) is a very important institution. I am glad it is now under the Ministry. Previously, it was under the Ministry of Agriculture. We need to, perhaps, decentralise it and look for a way of linking KEVEVAPI with activities of veterinary officers to monitor diseases particularly foot and mouth disease.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally in terms of the KMC, it is about time we centralised its operations to have smaller units. We can have smaller slaughter facilities slaughtering about 250 animals in Eldoret, Marigat, Isiolo, Samburu and other places. Since the road network has significantly improved, meat can now be canned access market in various parts of this country.
With those many remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me take this opportunity to contribute to this very crucial Motion. First, let me thank the Minister for his distinguished service at the Ministry and the Permanent Secretary for his long dedicated service at the Ministry. I also wish to remember the Chair of the Department Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives for his valid and fruitful contribution in this House. On the Kenya Dairy Board, I would urge the Minister to make sure that hawking of milk is not allowed in this country because continued hawking would jeopardise the health of our people.
On animal diseases, we note with appreciation the efforts the Minister has made. But I would urge the Treasury to make sure that adequate funds are allocated to this Ministry. For instance, the foot and mouth disease is very common in most areas. If we have to fight it to the end, a lot of resources are required. Lari constituency, which I represent, is also prone to this disease. On private artificial insemination, this has created permanent employment for our youth and subsidy of semen should be extended, so that the common farmer can also access the modern breed and productive animals.
On cattle dips, they must be rehabilitated. They were left in dilapidated positions since 1970s and 1980s. We need healthy animals to guarantee milk production. On motorcycles, from the Ministerial Statement this is a very important investment. I would urge the Minister to effect fairness in terms of its distribution. I noted from the Ministerial Statement that they are committing Kshs28 million for rents. What would that translate into within the next 20 years? I would suggest to the Minister that it is important to think of buying land, so that saving can be done by acquiring permanent facility for the Ministry.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this Vote.
In supporting, I would like to say that we, as a country, are performing before our capacity because with the money we have we can do a lot. I am a member of the Select Committee on cattle rustling. We had an opportunity to travel to Botswana. Some of the things we are talking about sound utopian and yet, they are very simple things that we can do to change our country.
I would want to ask the Minister that we need to encourage livestock keeping outside the traditional livestock areas. I would encourage her to encourage the people of Suba to keep livestock and not to rely on fishing alone. We, as a country, need to diversify. Secondly, I would want to encourage her that one of the things that we do as an African country that is very harmful to us, we usually encourage and introduce exotic breeds and allow them to go over our traditional breeds that are resilient. With the climate change, we face challenges which our traditional breeds are able to cope with, but which exotic breeds are not able to cope with. So, even as we bring in new breeds, let us make sure that our traditional breeds do not disappear.
I am happy that we have re-introduced the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC). But I would want to encourage us that our aim should be to surpass the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC)). We met its Chairman who trained at the Egerton University. There were so many people who were visiting Botswana from other countries, even developed countries for them to showcase what they are doing in Botswana as an example. I think we, as a country, can do much better than that. The bulk of the people we met there, who were running that place are Kikuyus, Kambas and Luos. So, I do not know why we should be going there to do excellent world class work when we can do it right here. I saw the way they do branding and zoning. Even this micro chip which we are talking about like it is such a difficult thing really just requires us to eliminate corruption and to be committed and put our money where it is required and we shall surpass them as the first country in the European market. I would encourage the Ministry to take this as their target for the next Budget. It is possible if you are committed.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Vote.
I want to say the following: First, in relation to Artificial Insemination (AI) services, I think we went wrong in assuming that they could be provided at what was supposed to be apparently market rates. If we compare ourselves to other countries, for example, New Zealand which produces over 13 billion litres of milk because they have invested in AI services, we must move to provide AI affordable services to our farmers. When a regular cow in Kenya produces three to four litres of milk, a good cow anywhere in the world, produces 40 or 50 litres of milk. So, we must provide affordable AI services.
If you look at beef cattle, the average size of the animal is becoming smaller and smaller. The Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives explained in detail about the genetics. I am told by technical officers that the average size now of a piece of heir is anywhere about 20 to 21 square feet down from nearly 30. This means that the value that we get out of our livestock is dwindling. It is going down because we have ignored AI services. I think we should be bold and accept that world over people are subsidizing agriculture. We should step forward to ensure that AI services are affordable.
On leather, many Members have spoken about the question of comparing ourselves to Botswana. Botswana has much smaller herd size than us, yet, the productive value coming out of that herd size outweighs what we get. We must look at ways and means of improving the quality of leather. If we compare ourselves to countries such as Ethiopia the quality of our leather is impaired by variety of things; by husbandry and the way the hiding is done. So, we must go back to training people who work in arbottaires on how to properly hide. But also those who are handling raw hide on how to properly handle these hides. We must also look at how we bring back some of the value to the farmer. If you go to Isiolo, Maralal or Rumuruti, a hide is probably sold at Kshs100 yet the full value when the hides is tanned to 14 pairs of shoes is in the order of Kshs30,000 to Kshs40,000. So, the value does not go to the producer of these raw materials. We must look for ways of taking back value to the farmer. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the question of disease-free zones has been spoken about. The Minister has, in fact, indicated what they will do. I think we should urge them to move with dispatch. The reason we are not able to export, say, livestock from Laikipia is the lack of disease-free certification. I had an opportunity to visit a farm in Kilifi that uses animal waste to generate nearly a megawatt of power. In thinking about green energy and so on, the Ministry must also look at how we can support not only dairy farmers, but also in rangeland areas see how we can use this resource to provide green energy. In conclusion, one of the contributors raised the issue of looking beyond livestock. He talked about rearing, for example, chicken. In this area, there is a real question about the cost of production. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support this Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for this opportunity. One misconception that we normally have is that when we talk about food security we always think about the Ministry of Agriculture. Many Kenyans and, indeed, a very large of this country depend on livestock for their livelihood. It is, therefore, very important that we take this Ministry to be very important. The Minister has tried under these circumstances. We have given him a very small budget year in year out and yet we expect him to deliver so much. If you really want to have food security or sufficient food and income from farming, we need to equally empower the Minister for Livestock Development so that he can work on the issues we are proposing to him. With regard to livestock in this country, we tend to be biased. About 75 per cent of this country is arid. The Minister and I come from arid areas. We have never had affirmative action on farming in these areas. When you talk about arid areas, it is not just about North Eastern Province. We are talking about the upper parts of Eastern Province, Ukambani region, Maasailand, other parts in Nyanza Province and so on. We need to determine the kind of farming that can be done in those areas so that we can improve the local breed and have proper medical care for animals in those areas so that they can also produce like the high potential areas. The arid areas have an advantage of having vast land which can be used for grazing. If we invest properly in those areas, I am sure we will have good results. I would like to draw the attention of the Minister to what happened last year. Since I come from the arid areas, sometimes I look at what is happening and I get disappointed. We have many animals which we can sell and get money to improve our economy in those areas. When drought comes like it did last year, we lose our animals or sell them at throw-away price. Is there not a strategy we can device so that when the rains are good and our animals are doing very well, we can sell them at a very good price? That way, we will avoid this waste. We lost a lot during the drought. We need to look at these issues proactively so that we maximize on the issue of farming. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support this Motion.
Ahsante sana Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Ninasimama kuchangia Hoja hii ya maana sana ambayo inahusu mifugo ambayo ni nguzo ya uwezo wa mwananchi wa kawaida. Ni dhahiri kwamba lazima Waziri achukue jukumu la kuhakikisha kwamba masilahi, mahitaji, na raslimali za wananchi zimelindwa kupitia Wizara hii. Jambo lililofanya mambo ya mifugo kuwa hatari ni wizi. Hii Wizara inaweza kushirikiana na Wizara inayohusika na mambo ya ulinzi wa ndani kuona kwamba wananchi na mali yao wanalindwa. Haifai, katika nchi huru kama Kenya ambayo ina watu walioelimika, kuona mtu akienda kuchukua mali ya mwenzake na kuyaweka kwake. Ninazungumzia hasa kuhusu mifugo. Tumefikia kiwango cha kuzungumza na wezi wa mifugo. Ni lazima Waziri ahimize na asisitize kwamba hii Wizara ni ya Serikali na inayo wafanyakazi wanaolipwa na Serikali. Hii Wizara vile vile inalinda mali ya wananchi na kwa hivyo wezi wa mifugo lazima wapewe adhabu kubwa. Mambo ya mifugo haihusu wafugaji peke yao. Ukitembea kote nchini, utagundua kwamba katika asili ya Mwafrika ng’ombe, mbuzi na wengineo ni raslimali kubwa na inatiliwa maanani sana. Hawa mifugo ni mali na haki yao. Kamwe hakuna mtu anayeweza kuishi bila ng’ombe. Mimi sina shamba la kufuga mifugo lakini siwezi kukosa ng’ombe mmoja kuashiria kwamba mimi ni Mwafrika. Kwa hivyo, tunataka maslahi haya yaangaliwe kwa kindani na si kwa wafugaji tu bali kwa Wakenya wote. Ninaomba Wizara hii ihakikishe kwamba wananchi wa kawaida wanapata dawa za kutibu mifugo wao. Imekuwa vigumu kwa mtu kupata matibabu ya mifugo hasa katika mtindo wa zero grazing. Katika huu mtindo wa ufugaji wa zero grazing ndipo unaona kiini na uwezo wa Mwafrika. Ng’ombe huyo wa kukamuliwa maziwa hutoa mapato kwa familia kubwa na jamii nzima. Mfugaji yule hawezi kutoka pale kijijini kuja mjini kutafuta kazi. Yeye atajimudu na mapato anayopata kutokana na maziwa ya ng’ombe. Vile vile ufugaji huu unatusaidia na nyama. Utakuta kwamba watu katika eneo hilo hawaendi mbali kutafuta nyama. Ni jukumu la Waziri kuangalia hali ya mifugo kama vile mbuzi, kondoo nakadhalika. Ngamia amekuwa mnyama wa maana sana. Nyama ya ngamia ina bei ghali. Nyama hiyo inategemewa na inahitajika sana. Ni sisi tu tunaona kwamba kula nyama ya ngamia ni dhambi. Huyu ni mnyama ambaye hustahimili ukame na hali yoyote ile. Kwa hivyo, hatusemi kwamba ni Mkoa wa Kaskazini Mashariki pekee unaoweza kumudu ufugaji wa ngamia. Tungempenda Waziri awahimize wananchi wafuge ngamia ili waweze kujimudu. Ngamia anaweza kukaa miezi miwili bila kuhitaji maji huku akisaidia jamii nzima. Sisi tunamshukuru Rais kwa kuiunda na kuisaidia Wizara ya Mifugo ili iweze kujisimamia vilivyo. Kwa hayo machache ningependa kuunga mkono.
Your time is up!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a subject that needs more time than we are being accorded.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support the Motion.
Order! It is now 6.05 p.m. Therefore, it is now time for the Mover to reply.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to start by thanking all the Members who contributed and supported this Motion. I really appreciate the fact that the Members are seeing the challenges in terms of resource allocation that this Ministry is facing. In fact, this Ministry is contributing 12 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as I said and also 44 per cent--- Almost half of the contribution from the agricultural sector to the GDP is livestock based. All this is happening when the resource allocation is so squeezed.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there were also several hon. Members who compared the performance of Botswana to that of Kenya. I would like the hon. Members to understand that Botswana Meat Commission and Botswana Vaccine Production Institute took the blueprint from the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) and the Kenya Veterinary Vaccine Production Institute (KEVEVAPI). The blueprint is from Kenya and the staff who went to establish it are Kenyans. Some of them decided to stay on and are still there. I would like to tell the House what exactly happened. In 1986, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank introduced what they called Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). In this policy, certain key Ministries and sectors were privatized. Unfortunately, the livestock sector was privatized as a non-essential sector. Therefore, the dips, extension services, surveillance, regular immunization, hiring of staff and purchase of vehicles that the hon. Members are talking about were all paralyzed. The dips were handed over to the communities. Veterinary services were privatized and, therefore, the Government was only a skeleton. The last vehicle to the livestock sector was bought in 1986. Likewise, the last staff were hired in 1986. When I was in Entebbe and we were meeting all Ministers for Livestock from Africa and this policy of IMF, that is, the SAP, applied to many African countries, in that forum I stood up to question whether that policy actually was a sabotage and intended to retard the most progressive sector by privatizing it. I applaud countries that ignored that policy and went ahead to invest in livestock. After livestock was set aside for that period, it is only now that we are refocusing. It is still contributing 12 per cent to the GDP and almost half of what the agriculture sector is contributing to the economy. So, that policy needs to be condemned. I would like to go on record saying that it is even important to look back and see the purpose or intent of that policy. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, having said that, it does not dampen our spirit. We will regain the lost ground and I am sure now the Government is refocusing. The KMC collapsed because it lost support. Of course, there was also mismanagement, corruption and the rest. I would like to report that now we are slowly getting back on track. I would also like to say that the KMC is going to breakeven at the end of this month and we will start posting profits, because we have started engaging in very aggressive marketing of livestock outside the country through what is called contracted slaughtering, where business people bring their animals that they get order for outside and slaughter at the institution or the institution itself strikes deals with business people outside and, therefore, exports animals. That has contributed to the increase in the price of animals and the primary producers are getting better prices for their livestock. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, just to rush through what some hon. Members have said, although I do not have time to go over everything, with regard to hawking of milk, I fully support the Kenya Dairy Board. I fully support that and we will ensure that, that stops. I think it is happening. The only area where there is a problem is camel milk which is being brought from Isiolo, Garissa and other places. We will try to see how we can improve the transportation of that milk so that it can be brought in a cleaner way. We do not have a milk processing facility for camel milk apart from one small company which is trying to come up. With regard to the issue of camels by hon. Muthama, I would like to beg this House to allow our catering department to give contracts to camel butchers so that camel meat can be supplied to this House just like beef. The same should apply to its milk. I am sure that many diabetic hon. Members will benefit from camel’s milk if it was supplied. Parliamentarians would have an advantage of tasting camel meat and milk. I concur with him that the camel is the animal of the future. With regard to Artificial Insemination services, I fully concur that we need to really subsidize the cost. I am trying to negotiate with the Treasury to give a subsidy to the Artificial Insemination station at Kabete so that the station could, in turn, pass down more subsidized prices to farmers. That is because we really need very good semen at affordable price. About the issue regarding our office, we were asked: Why rent an office instead of buying? We have land opposite Kilimo House. We have started the construction of an office there but due to constraints, that project has not featured recently in our budget. We would like to push for that so that we can have our own office. In fact, it is very difficult to have the Director of Veterinary Services based in Kabete, the Director of Livestock Production based in Hill Plaza while our Headquarters are at Kilimo House. That makes our operations very difficult. I would like to end by saying that, that is a sector with high potential. If the necessary resources are allocated, we are up to the task. The officers are all competent. They are well trained doctors from Kabete. They are even serving in other countries as witnessed by the hon. Members. We can deliver. We are better off than when we started. I would like to have the support of this House. I appreciate all the contributions. We will continue to push for the Ministry so that more resources are allocated and the performance can continue to improve. With those few remarks, I beg to move.
Madam Temporary Deputy Chairperson, I beg to move:- THAT, a sum not exceeding Kshs8,200,318,670 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2011, in respect of:-
Vote 10 – Ministry of Agriculture
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move:- THAT a sum not exceeding Kshs3,256,318,616 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet the expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2011, in respect of:-
Vote 19 – The Ministry of Livestock Development
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am directed to report that the Committee of Supply has considered the Resolution that a sum not exceeding Kshs8,200,318,670 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2011 in respect of Vote 10 - Ministry of Agriculture and approved the same without amendments.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution.
(Dr. Kuti) seconded.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to make a small observation on this Vote. I would urge the hard working Minister for Agriculture to very seriously and urgently address the issue of tea hawking in the tea growing areas which currently is posing a serious threat.
Vote 19- Ministry of Livestock Development
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to report that the Committee of Supply has considered the Resolution that a sum not exceeding Kshs3,256,318,616 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet the expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2011 in respect of Vote 19 - Ministry of Livestock Development and approved the same without amendments.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution.
(Dr. Kosgei) seconded.
Hon. Members, that concludes the business on the Order Paper. Therefore, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, 26th August, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.
The House rose at 6.35 p.m.