• Initially most of the people he called were shocked to receive a call from the President
President William Ruto on Thursday morning took several Kenyans by surprise when he called them via phone from the State House office ahead of his inaugural State of the Nation address.
The Head of State first spoke to Nicholas Khabala, a farmer from Busia to pick his sentiments on the drop in fertiliser price and its impact on farmers.
The farmer who resides in Samia was initially surprised to hear that the President had personally called him.
"Naomba kuongea na bwana Nicholas Khabala ndio wewe? Huyu ni William Ruto," the President said.
The farmer responded," Bwana William Ruto... ah His Excellency" as he joined the President in laughing.
Ruto asked Khabala whether he got the subsidised fertiliser, to which Khabala said yes.
"Nilipata fertiliser na inafanya vizuri," Khabala said.
He further informed the President that he is a maize, beans and cotton farmer.
Out of curiosity, Ruto further asked the farmer how the situation was before and the cost of fertiliser dropped.
The farmer explained to the President that before, fertiliser was very expensive but at the moment they can easily access it.
"Bei ya fertiliser ilikuwa juu sana kati ya Sh5,000 until Sh6,000. Sahi tunaweza ipata kwa bei ya rahisi,"Khabala added.
In August, Ruto announced a decrease in the price of fertiliser from Sh3,500 to Sh2,500.
Going further, Ruto explained to the farmer that he saw it fit to have fertiliser prices drop for many farmers to access it.
In return, the Khabala thanked the President for fertiliser affordable and even urged him to maintain the low prices.
"This is a good plan especially for farmers because some had even lost faith in farming. I had lost faith, but with the affordable fertiliser I can continue farming," he said.
Khabala's concern, however, was that the first batch of fertiliser arrived late and he requested that farmers be allowed to get it on credit.
"Naonelea hiii mbolea ikuwe ikifika mapema na ndio wakulima wale pia hawana pesa can get it on credit ," Khabala added.
President Ruto said he would consider his request and see how he would help him and the farmers on the issue.
In addition, the President asked Khabala to greet his wife and children.
On the issue of cotton farming, Ruto said that despite its low production his administration has initiated ways to improve production of the crop.
However, the farmer told Ruto that his cotton farming venture is progressing well and he is looking forward to a good harvest.
Khabala also told Ruto about his fears about the ongoing heavy rainfall, saying it may affect the prices of their maize harvest, asking the head of state to intervene.
"With the heavy rainfall predicted to continue until January, I fear that there might be problems when harvesting thus affecting the prices. But that should not make us lose hope," Khabala added.
The President promised that he would speak to experts and find out the best solutions to address the price issue
In addition, President Ruto urged Khabala and other farmers to put in work to improve the country's food basket to ensure the country is food secure.
"Munisaidie kwa kuzalisha chakula. Kwa hii njaa hakuna dawa engine," Ruto said.
President Ruto said his administration has focused on ensuring farmers increase their production and that farmers use 100kgs of fertiliser instead of 50kgs per acre of land during planting.