Maize farmers from the North Rift are calling on the government to honour its pledge and pay them for the maize delivered to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
Addressing farmers at Elgeyo Samills, Moiben MP Silas Tiren said the government through the Deputy President William Ruto and agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri had promised to pay them by Friday last week.
However to date, farmers are yet to receive their money despite the promises, which is affecting them economically as most do not have other sources of livelihood, he said.
Tiren said while NCPB owed farmers Sh.5 billion from the maize delivered, the supplementary budget recently passed by parliament allocated only Sh.1 billion.
The legislator said Kenya should honour the Maputo declaration of which it is a signatory and allocate the agriculture sector 10% of the country’s budget which will sort out farmers’ issues as opposed to now where only 2.7% has been allocated for the sector.
He said despite agriculture being part of the main four presidential agendas, it was not being given the attention it deserves, saying even the subsidised fertilizer was not only inadequate but also reached the farmers late.
The MP appealed to politicians to first address issues affecting wananchi, key among them issues of food security instead of using their energy to start early campaigns for 2022.
Tiren, who was accompanied by the Uasin Gishu leader of majority Josephat Lowoi called for the change of user of the Elgeyo Sawmill land which was under lease from agricultural to industrial so that they can put up factories for value addition.
Source: Kenya News Agency