Miraa kitty team back to drawing board after OP intervention

John Richoro a miraa trader in Kiengu, Meru county on July 27, 2018. [File: Standard]

A dispute on how to spend Sh906 million is threatening to scuttle the work of a task force formed to improve production of miraa.

Reports that part of the money had been allocated to other crops has complicated the work of the Miraa Task Force Implementation Committee even further.

Various stakeholders sent petitions to the President asking him to intervene so that the money was used to boost miraa only.

Among the groups that filed petitions was Meru Miraa Farmers and Traders Sacco.

Several meetings, chaired by Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri, have been held to try to resolve the impasse.

“We looked into the distribution of resources, harmonisation of policies, research, extension and market infrastructure with the aim of improving production to increase income,” Mr Kiunjuri said on his Twitter handle after a meeting on November 22.

The petitioners were opposed to the decision to use some of the money to improve other crops other than miraa. They also accused the committee of planning to use the funds on tasks county governments were already carrying out.

In one of the meetings, Kiunjuri tabled a letter from the Treasury specifying that the money should only be used to improve miraa production.

Sh20 million for purchase of avocado and macadamia seedlings was removed from the list of items to be funded.

Also struck from the list was Sh30 million set aside to improve soil and conserve water catchment areas as well as Sh50 million for capacity building.

The Presidency also pushed for the removal of Sh100 million set aside for building of market sheds and Sh200 million allocated to sinking 30 boreholes in Embu.