Farmers in Uasin Gishu County who delivered maize to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) last season and expected to start receiving their money last Monday remain a disappointed lot.
Farmers who spoke to KNA within Eldoret town and the NCPB depots Eldoret said they were disappointed by failure by the government to honour its promise to farmers.
Andrew Kerich, a small scale farmer from Ziwa said he went to check his bank account on Tuesday morning hoping to get his pay, but there was nothing.
We have waited for far too long, we are not interested in boardroom deliberations anymore, all we want is our money, he said.
Kerich said farmers in the region have suffered because of the delay in payment, those of us who took loans have been penalized because of the delay. Personally I am now considered a defaulter by the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) because I have not serviced a loan I took for farming last year, he lamented.
He wondered why the government was concentrating on funding road constructions and other projects and forgotten about the farmer.
We appeal to the government to please pay us our money as it promised last week, we are suffering, he pleaded.
Another farmer, David Rutto said he was not convinced that the government would honour its pledge, I am not convinced they will pay until I see the money in the account, he said
It is time the government walks the talk instead of deceiving farmers like young children, he fumed, adding that they are planning for a major demonstration that will bring business in Eldoret town to a standstill.
Over the weekend, National Treasury Cabinet secretary, Henry Rotich said the government had released Sh.1.4b to the NCPB to start paying farmers from Monday.
He asked the unpaid farmers to be patient, saying there should be no cause for worry as the government has already released their money to NCPB. The government has released monies to clear all debt owed to farmers, assured the CS.
Last week, Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Eugene Wamalwa announced that the board had completed verification of deserving maize farmers who will be paid.
He said they verified beneficiaries totaling 1,154 who filled up the verification forms, out of whom 1,140 farmers returned the forms successfully.
Source: Kenya News Agency