The Government is committed to making Kenya food stable, Deputy President William Ruto said yesterday. Speaking during an inspection tour of the Sh1.7 billion Phase One Korakora Gravity Canal Project under the Bura Irrigation and Settlement Scheme Rehabilitation in Tana River county, Ruto said irrigation would play a pivotal role in enabling Kenyans turn agriculture into a viable commercial venture. He said the country could not attain food security if it relies solely on rain-fed agriculture. The DP said the government was committed to eliminating hunger through food security, a pillar in President Uhuru Kenyatta\u2019s Big Four agenda. \u201cOur goal as Government is to ensure that we increase acreage of land under irrigation in this area to 40,000 to boost food supply,\u201d said Ruto. He regretted that the Korakora project had delayed for seven years due to contract-related issues. The new contractor had been asked to complete the work in a year, he said. \u201cIt is through increased investments in irrigation that the country can have ample food to feed itself and sell the surplus for income,\u201d said Ruto. And in Bura town, the Deputy President distributed coconut and cashew nuts tree seedlings to farmers where he called for diversification in farming. This, he said, would not only eliminate hunger but also rid the country of unemployment and poverty. \u201cThe fruit tree-seedling initiative is a response to President Uhuru Kenyatta\u2019s directive that requires all parastatals to set aside 10 per cent of their social responsibility budget towards tree planting in an effort to expand forest cover,\u201d he added. The Sh18.7-million project was designed to not only increase forest cover but also provide farmers with an alternative source of food and income. The National Irrigation Board (NIB) has planted 415,300 cashew nuts seedlings and distributed some 20,600 seedlings to farmers. The Board has also planted 105,400 coconut seedlings to be distributed to farmers. National Irrigation Board (NIB) chairman Joshua Toro said the produce value of one coconut tree a season is Sh3,000 while that of cashew nuts is Sh2,500. NIB managing director Gitonga Mugambi said the scheme contributes to the economy of Tana River by creating employment and business opportunities.