By FRANCIS NGIGE
They said once the debts are cleared, farmers would be able to boost their earnings as a similar waiver in the last financial year had started to bear fruits.
Mr Geoffrey Wachira, a coffee farmer in Nyeri, said since the Government released part of the payment to clear farmers’ debt last year, farmers’ earnings have improved.
“I think with this amount allocated by the minister today (Thursday), the debts will be cleared so that we can start on a clean slate,” he said.
A tea farmer, Joseph Muchiri, said it was a welcome relief to the growers since tea was not considered in the last waiver.
“You cannot believe that payslips of some farmers reflects negative balance as a result of numerous deductions. We hope the situation will be rectified,” said Muchiri.
Nyeri Kenya National Union of Teachers Executive Secretary Mutahi Kahiga also lauded the move saying most of the locals were dependent on the two cash crops.
“This is the way to go. By targeting the crucial agricultural sector, the Government is on the right move as this will boost the economy,” said Kahiga.
He, however, said the shortfall of teachers was still a major concern despite the Government announcing plans to employ 10,000 teachers.
“We needed an immediate employment of more than 40,000 teachers, so this is a drop in the ocean. For free education to succeed, we need enough teachers,” he said.