It is a fact that the Kenyan Shilling is one of the worst performing currency just before the Uganda Shilling. The recent activities and figures at the stock exchange and the reactionary nature of the Central Bank Governor shows how unprepared we are in dealing with issues that threaten the heart of our economy.
Linus Gitahi has ably put it that to save our shilling we need to produce products we have imperative advantage with, aggressively export in order to bring in the most needed dollars and in the process create lots of jobs for the youth. I couldn’t agree any less.
Innovation in Agricultural Technology
We all know Agriculture is and should be the driver of our economy. Very little has been done by the Government to protect and promote innovation in Agricultural development so that we can take advantage of the most rubric resource that we have as a country. Agriculture will create the Green Jobs that the youth so deservedly need to contribute to the well being of Kenya. We shall promote a healthier nation, we shall stop hunger and starvation and we shall feed the foodless of the region that is in danger for importing products from both the west and the east.
Investment in our Local Farmers
Most of the maize farmers in the western Kenya agricultural basket belt have in the past complained that the Government is not interested in buying their produce at competitive rates and instead preferring to import at a more higher rate and only sell at lower rates and compromise on quality. This is where we need to whip our Government to start valuing our local products. The tabling in Gitahis article of producing locally, buying and consuming Kenyan and in the long run building Kenya is a more perfect example of making Kenya become the hub for development in the region.
Kenya’s agricultural belt has a good opportunity to produce surplus for export. We need the right kind of skills set to our youth. So far our education system has relinquished the responsibility of making Agriculture look fashionable a sector. Many young people do not prefer studying Agriculture. They see it as a dirty practice that only the uneducated are to venture in. However it is fact that Agriculture requires the highest education standards and in this case the need to make Agricultural technology as one of the basic and compulsory subjects in our school just like the traditional sciences.
If we fix agriculture as a basic requirement to impart highest level of skills in our children in schools, we shall begin to change the attitude amongst our young generation.
Revive local industries and create jobs
The Government needs to invest more and provide incentives to farmers in order to produce the most needed food products. The farmers willing the long run create jobs, feed their families, and supply products for exports. Investment in local food industries and promote export of surplus as a way to improve food security. This is where the Government now needs to seriously rethink of the strategy to revive local industries that have become white elephants rotting away and wasting off years of investment. Any government that watches a local industry die, does not have a mandate to govern.
Lastly we need to fix the issue of land ownership and allow the youth to invent and make good use of spaces for agricultural production. Most of the unused land across the country could be allocated for free to farmers who are ready to invest in them. My next article will deal with the kind of job opportunities that can be created and the kind of areas that have high potential to turn around our economy and save our dipping shilling back to it’s track. This is where the green teams begin to use a business model to fix both the climate challenge and create livelihoods at community level.