I was Misquoted - Rigathi Clarifies on Shamba System

  • Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua speaking in Baringo County on Saturday September 24, 2022.
    Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua speaking at Baringo Deputy Governor Charles Kipng'ok's burial on Saturday, September 24, 2022.
    Rigathi Gachagua
  • Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Wednesday, September 28, hit out at the press claiming that it misreported his statement on re-introduction of the controversial Shamba System.

    In an address during the launch of the annual ASK Nairobi International Trade Fair, the DP clarified that the Shamba system did not mean that farmers would be invited to farm inside exiting forests.

    He explained that instead, the farmers plant trees on allocated forest lands alongside their crops and vacate once the trees mature.

    "When I was in Baringo, I did announce to the people of Kenya that we have a serious programme on afforestation. There is a lot of land within the forest reserve that has been earmarked for tree-planting and we are going to mobilise farmers to assist us to plant trees in those areas that have no trees and take care of them as they farm until the trees are of age and then the forest can continue growing.

    Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua durring a meeting with governors from counties affected by drought .jpg
    Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua during a meeting with governors from counties affected by drought on Monday, September 26, 2022.
    Rigathi Gachagua

    "When you twist it that we have said we are going to bring the farmers to come and farm in the forest, that is in bad taste," he explained.

    He also addressed the press directly challenging them to report objectively and shut a habit of twisting words to fit narratives.

    "You have had a habit over the campaign period to always twist what we say in public to suit your own needs. We want to tell the press the campaign is over, report us objectively," he added.

    During the address, Gachagua also reiterated that the new administration is focused on Agriculture and trade as the most effective tools to turn around the economy, restore the dignity of our people and create wealth.

    Some of the earmarked sectors include provision of adequate and affordable capital to farmers for increased productivity as well as comprehensively manage Agricultural related risks to cushion farmers from uncertainty.

    The administration is also hellbent on reducing food imports by 30 per cent as well as revamping underperforming and collapsed export crops include Rice, Sugarcane, coffee, cashew nuts and avocado among others.

    On September 24, the DP found himself on the receiving end after defending his promise to re-introduce the Shamba System explaining that it was essential in increasing the country's food production and even helping in addressing the perennial hunger issue.

    "You know these forests belong to the citizens. You are the ones guarding them. There is a CS who came in and barred people from even picking leaves for cooking.

    "In the forest, we had Shamba System, where citizens were allocated land to plant maize while at the same time ploughing the trees. We will issue an order for you to resume planting in the forests so that we increase food production in the country. We will give guidelines on how to plant in the forest without destroying the trees," Gachagua stated at the time.

    Activists however, disagreed with him arguing that the practice, which was viciously fought by the late Wangari Mathai, had been outlawed in Kenya.

    Crops interplanted with trees in the Shamba System.
    Crops interplanted with trees in the Shamba System.