MPs cut miraa kitty budget

Miraa farmers have suffered a setback after legislators knocked off Sh600 million from the kitty intended to commercialise the cash crop.

Among the projects that could be affected by the budget cut is the planned drilling of boreholes and dams to support the crop’s production.

Arable areas in the miraa-growing counties of Tharaka Nithi, Embu and Meru were the intended beneficiaries of the fund in targeted interventions that kicked off three years ago.

Embu is earmarked to have two boreholes and five earth dams while Tharaka Nithi will have three boreholes and one earth dam. Ten boreholes are planned for Meru under the plan.

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It is not clear why the MPs of the Budget and Appropriations Committee of the National Assembly settled on the cut, considering it was championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The budget cut is also likely to frustrate the implementation of the recommendations of the Miraa Task Force whose mandate was to find ways of reviving the sector after the UK miraa ban.

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