The Government will not distribute Sh1 billion State donation among farmers.

Kello Harsama, the Secretary of Administration at the State Department of Crops in the Ministry of Agriculture with Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi on October 15, 2015. [Wainaina Ndung'u, Standard]

Miraa Task Force Implementation Committee chair Kello Harsama said that no farmer would receive compensation for lost markets.

“I have personally been in Government for the last 30 years and I have never seen it engage in such activities,” said Harsama, Chief Administrative Secretary at the State Crops Department.

He, however, said farmers who owed those who leased them farms would be loaned money to offset the debts.

He said the funds would be used in promoting growing and marketing of miraa, with more resources going to digging boreholes and water pans, building marketing sheds and purchase of miraa seedlings for farmers.

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Some 22 sheds will be constructed for miraa trading.

A breakdown of the task force budget shows that Sh200 million will go to water provision, with four boreholes planned for Tharaka Nithi and five for Embu, which will also get 10 water pans.

“Where locals ask that we substitute boreholes with pans or vice versa, that will be considered, provided there is agreement on the ground,” said Harsama.

He explained that Embu, Tharaka Nithi and Meru county governments would have no direct role in the spending of the money.

“We would like to disabuse the notion that underhand deals will be tolerated in managing the resources allocated the sub-sector,” Harsama said in Meru town after his team met Governor Kiraitu Murungi.

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“We want to be very transparent in our operations so that we leave no room for speculation on our work,” he added.

County governments have representatives in the 10-man committee spearheading programmes in the sub-sector, and can, therefore, still influence policy direction.

Mr Murungi accused some politicians of misleading farmers that the county government had a direct role in the spending of the funds.

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Governor Kiraitu MurungiEmbuTharaka NithiMeruMiraa