Coffee, tea, miraa and jobs – Raila woos Meru region ahead of 2022 elections
ODM leader Raila Odinga has promised to ensure residents and farmers from Meru County and the larger Ameru community get value for their farm produce.
While addressing representatives from the Ameru business community on Thursday, September 2, Raila reminded the residents that Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi was once his personal lawyer, insisting that he is familiar with the needs of the region.
"I am happy to be here. Meru people are very brave and very hardworking, I know the kind of struggle which you went through, I have with me a passbook here," Raila said, revealing a colonial pass for the Agikuyu, Meru and Aembu which licensed persons from the three communities to travel in Kenya.
"Meru land is very rich in terms of Agricultural production where if you invest, there is a high rate of return. Coffee, tea, avocados and miraa grow well in this area. Miraa has been a very good revenue earner until challenges like the ban in Europe affected it. I invite Kiraitu to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with me so that we see what my friend President Tshisekedi can do for our miraa market," Raila said.
While insisting on value addition at the grass root farming level, Raila said that reforms have been carried out in the tea sector to get rid of monopoly so that farmers can get value for their produce.
"Avacado is the new gold which needs to be promoted. And dairy farming too. What we need is to create processing plants that add value and create more wealth for the farmers," Raila said.
The ODM leader further warmed up to the Ameru business community with his plan to create employment for the youth stating that the youth can either be a blessing or a curse.
"The Meru like other parts of the country has a big population of young people. If you do not empower the yuth then they become drug addicts, delinquents but if they are empowered with skills then the youth become a source of wealth creation. This is what we had planned with BBI," Raila said.
The ODM leader has been on a tour of the vote rich Mt Kenya, popularising himself with the region ahead of the August 2022 elections.
Leaders at the meeting include Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi, acting Nairobi governor Ann Kananu, Igembe North MP Maoka Maore, former anti-graft czar Justice Aaron Ringera and former Education assistant minister Kilemi Mwiria.