Nakuru, regarded as the agricultural capital of Kenya, lies in the Rift Valley Province, and is currently holding its annual agricultural show.
Nakuru, regarded as the agricultural capital of Kenya, lies in the Rift Valley Province, and is currently holding its annual agricultural show. President Kenyatta officially opened the show on Friday (11 June), and spent the day touring the exhibits and displays which illustrate the country's farming background.
The history of Nakuru's annual Show goes back to 1909. Over the years, it began to rival the slightly older Royal Show held annually in Nairobi, until, in the fifties, it was decided to provide an outlet for both events by rotating alternate years between Nairobi and Nakuru. Now, with research stations and agricultural stations centred on the town, the standards of produce and farming techniques seen at Nakuru during the coming week are an assessment of Kenya's agricultural progress.
SYNOPSIS: The annual Agricultural Show at Nakuru, in Kenya's Rift Valley Province, is being held this week. Looked upon as the country's agricultural centre, Nakuru is the show piece for Kenya's farming techniques, and President Kenyatta made an official visit to the town on Friday to open the week's events.
The first agricultural show was held in Nakuru as far back as nineteen hundred and nine. It developed in size and importance over the years until it began to rival the annual Royal Show held in Nairobi. Eventually, in a search of a compromise, the organisers of both events agreed to operate alternately between Nairobi and Nakuru. The Kenyans are proud of their farming prowess, and this annual event is their opportunity to illustrate to themselves and outsiders the basic strength of their agriculture. This week, the elite of Kenya's farming community are concentrated in Nakuru. The show is a test of the country's agricultural progress, and President Kenyatta, watching the growth of his country's economy, took a keen interest in the opening day's exhibits and displays.
They covered the whole range of Kenya's farm produce. President Kenyatta toured displays setup in specially constructed pavilions, watched mechanical aids at work, and travelled by Land Rover around Nakuru's experimental tobacco plantation. In a message to farmers published that morning in the Press, the President spoke of his approval of the initiative and hard work shown by the farmers of the Rift Valley Province. The thriving town of Nakuru, he said, and the highly productive farms in the area, showed what could be achieved in the agricultural sphere. During the course of the week's show, he said, an assessment could be made of the background to high quality farming, which is the most fundamental strength of the country.
The Kenyan farming economy continues to benefit from the traditional produce.....wheat, beef, pyrethrum, tea and coffee. President Kenyatta's government aims to reach a state where Kenya will be self-sufficient in basic foodstuffs. It is also working towards increasing its agricultural export commodities, and farmers are being encouraged, through Government schemes, to increase their overall production and to modernise their techniques. After his day at the show, an enthusiastic President Kenyatta took the salute from a military Guard, and watched a fly past of Kenya Air Force jets.