What Ruto must do to plant and grow seeds of prosperity among all Kenyans

Con­grat­u­la­tions are in order for Pres­i­dent-Elect William Samoei Ruto’s gal­lant vic­to­ry at the bal­lot. On Tues­day Sep­tem­ber 13, Dr Ruto will be sworn in as the fifth Pres­i­dent and make his­to­ry on sev­er­al fronts. It has been a remark­able jour­ney for him and rather than State House being a des­ti­na­tion, it should be the begin­ning of anoth­er more impor­tant duty.

You see, as Kenyans cast their bal­lot on August 9, each of them plant­ed a seed of hope, restora­tion and expec­ta­tions. Whether their can­di­date won or lost, they made a state­ment of intent. They sought a renew­al and promise of bet­ter days ahead. While elec­tions are in nature divi­sive, they should nev­er sow seeds of despair or trig­ger hopelessness.

Democ­ra­cy, they say is where the major­i­ty have their way while the minor­i­ty have their say. In the end, all Kenyan vot­ers are win­ners and can be likened to planters of trees. The onus is now on Pres­i­dent Ruto’s team to water and nur­ture the seedlings Kenyan vot­ers put into the soil.

This team must do all they can to grow the seedlings of afford­able health­care, qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion, decent hous­ing, equal oppor­tu­ni­ties and a thriv­ing econ­o­my. No Kenyan should be left behind. Kenya is a fer­tile ground for all her 52 mil­lion peo­ple if the land is “tilled” prop­er­ly, tend­ed care­ful­ly and the har­vest shared equitably.

Pres­i­dent-elect Ruto should now assume the father-fig­ure stature and lead in heal­ing the fis­sures wrought on by the gru­el­ing cam­paigns. He must quick­ly close ranks with rivals and get down to deliv­er­ing on his promis­es. There are quick wins he can work on this early.

To low­er the cost of food, he can invest in sound agri­cul­ture poli­cies that encour­age small­hold­er farm­ers and the largescale pro­duc­ers. The Guar­an­teed Min­i­mum Returns (GMR) for farm­ers that his Kenya Kwan­za Alliance pledged dur­ing the cam­paigns, should be a start­ing point. Major­i­ty of farm­ers have often decried high cost of farm inputs, cheap imports and exploita­tion from mid­dle­men or brokers.

The Kenya Kwan­za admin­is­tra­tion has a clean slate to dis­man­tle car­tels and intro­duce val­ue dri­ven mar­kets for farm­ers’ pro­duce. If all farm­ers can make an hon­or­able liv­ing from their ven­tures, there will be enough mon­ey to keep many of our youth from the job­less cor­ner. Food will be enough for all and there would be no more shame­ful call for food aid and dona­tions from Kenyans in North Eastern.

Indeed, should agri­cul­ture be fixed, Pres­i­dent Ruto will have plant­ed the biggest oppor­tu­ni­ty for all Kenyans. All suc­cess­ful coun­tries start­ed by feed­ing them­selves, export­ing the sur­plus and mak­ing enough mon­ey to invest in tech­nol­o­gy. It can be done here and Pres­i­dent Ruto has in the past demon­strat­ed abil­i­ty to ini­ti­ate projects and see them through up to completion.

Per­son­al­ly in 2011 when Wan­gari Math­ai passed on, I invit­ed then Cab­i­net Min­is­ter William Ruto to com­mem­o­rate her by estab­lish­ing 71 trees. A move­ment start­ed at the Prof Wan­gari Maathai Insti­tute. He duly attend­ed and plant­ed trees demon­strat­ing his pas­sion for agri­cul­ture and envi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion. Short­ly after, this cam­paign that tar­gets a 40% for­est cov­er by 2032 evolved into the now famous Plant Your Age ini­tia­tive com­mem­o­rat­ed annu­al­ly on 14th Sep­tem­ber. This year just a day after the President’s inau­gu­ra­tion I will be join­ing Kenyans at Unga vil­lage, Ndhi­wa Sub-Coun­ty of Homa Bay Coun­ty as we plant 1,881 trees which rep­re­sent the num­ber of new­ly elect­ed lead­ers from the MCA to the Pres­i­dent. Sim­i­lar Plant Your Age activ­i­ties will be held across the coun­try because we believe in a green future where every­one thrives. The Pres­i­dent has a huge oppor­tu­ni­ty to make tree grow­ing the norm rather than a one-day event. This is only pos­si­ble if we think green and act green!

About Dr. Kalua Green

He is the Chief Stew­ard of Green Africa Group, a con­glom­er­ate that was envi­sioned in 1991 to con­nect, pro­duce and impact var­i­ous aspi­ra­tions of human­i­ty through Sus­tain­able Mobil­i­ty & Safe­ty Solu­tions, Eco­pre­neur­ship & Agribusi­ness, Ship­ping & Logis­tics, Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Ini­tia­tives, as well as Hos­pi­tal­i­ty & fur­nish­ings sectors

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