About 20,000 rice farmers in Mwea now want the government to take control of the marketing of rice to save the sector from unscrupulous traders.
The farmers led by the area Member of Parliament (MP), Kavinga Wathayu said they were discouraged by poor unregulated returns after selling of their produce.
Kavinga speaking at Kamucege Catholic Church in Mwea on Sunday said the price of rice like other crops in the country should not be determined by farmers but the government which should set the minimum guarantee price for traders in the sector.
He said government owned Mwea rice mill should be well funded to buy rice from farmers if the private sector objects the setting of minimum sale by the government.
This he said will improve the livelihoods of farmers in Mwea who work hard only for middle men to exploit them during the harvest period.
Our farmers have been neglected by the government, leading to exploitation by cartels that rip the most benefit from the farming, he said.
Unless this trend is reversed within the next ten years there will be no rice farming in Mwea, Kavinga said.
The legislator said Mwea has a large population and allocation of resources should be commensurate to the statistics.
On the national politics, Kavinga said Mwea residents will take nothing short of the swearing in of Uhuru Kenyatta.
He said attempts to derail the process will not be taken kindly by the over 101,000 voters who participated in the repeat presidential election on October 26.
Mutithi ward Member of the county assembly, John Njogu said Cap 347 should be amended to enable farmers acquire title deeds in the scheme.
Njogu said the issue of title deeds is always used as a bait to get support from the farmers in the scheme but to no avail.
Tebere ward MCA, Gudson Muchina who was also present said they will work with the area MP to agitate for development in Mwea.
Source: Kenya News Agency