Maize farmers to get Sh3.6b owed by State

Business Daily Kenya:  George Kebaso @Morarak Maize farmers will receive outstanding payment for their produce immediately after a directiv...

Business Daily Kenya: 

George Kebaso @Morarak

Maize farmers will receive outstanding payment for their produce immediately after a directive by Deputy President William Ruto yesterday.

He said the farmers will receive Sh3.6 billion to settle what they are demanding from the government. Ruto said the government would be spending Sh12 billion to pay pending debt to growers and also buy fresh grain from farmers.

“Farmers need the funds to prepare their land on time for planting,” Ruto added at a Nairobi hotel where he opened a three-day conference on Conservation Agriculture.

Last month, Ministry of Agriculture asked for Sh3.6 billion from the National Treasury to clear farmers’ debts accruing from maize delivered at the NCPB from last season.

The money is also meant to buy more grain from farmers. Already about Sh8 billion has been paid out to farmers, but the government is appalled that brokers disguised as farmers had taken advantage and were getting paid at the expense of genuine producers.

Subsequently, Ruto said the government would embark on registering all the 2.5 million farmers in the next 90 days, a move aimed at “eliminating brokers, cartels and conmen from interfering and sabotaging the farmers.”

“I have instructed the ministry to target cartels and eliminate them from the list of genuine farmers to be paid. Kenya is capable of buying its own maize.

Cartels can sell their maize elsewhere,” he said. Under the new measures released early this month, the government intends to vet farmers in a move aimed at locking out unscrupulous businessmen who import maize for supply to NCPB, but this angered farmers in Uasin Gishu and Nakuru counties.

Ruto attributed the cause of payment delays to farmers to the cartels who have dumped maize from neghbouring countries to the cereals board.

He said the government would ensure only genuine farmers were paid. Ruto said proper mechanisms have been put in place to eliminate the threat of those posing as maize farmers in the process interfering and sabotaging efforts to support farmers.

“We have asked Ministry of Agriculture to ensure only genuine farmers who have delivered their farm produce to NCPB are paid,” said Ruto. He said conservation agriculture was advantageous since it retained the soil matter, reduced erosion, reserved water, reduced input use, and prevented land degradation.

The post Maize farmers to get Sh3.6b owed by State appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.

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