President Uhuru Kenyatta’s package taken with caution in Mt.Kenya
SEE ALSO :Renewables top 90pc of Kenya’s powerKimemia also welcomed the directive to the National Treasury to release Sh300 million to the Small and Micro-Enterprises Authority for construction of cold storage facilities in Nyandarua and two other counties to cater for potatoes and vegetables. Dominic Ng’era, the Kiama Kia Ma chairman in Nyandarua said the president made direct responses to what the region has been requesting; the rejuvenation of coffee, tea, dairy, and other agricultural sectors. “The dairy industry was headed for collapse due to importation of cheap milk and substandard milk products. We have been saying our people are suffering and now the president has granted our wish,” he said. Other leaders in the county including Isaac Muchiri, Ol Kalou Dairy Ltd chairman and Wambugu King’ori, Nyandarua County Assembly Leader of the Majority also welcomed the directives. “Milk will no longer be poured or fed to the dogs,” said King’ori. It was jubilation in Mwea, Kirinyaga County, the heart of rice farming in Kenya, following allocation of Sh600 million to the Kenya National Trading Corporation to purchase all the excess rice from Kano Plains and Mwea for onward selling to the disciplined forces, prisons services as well as our boarding schools.
SEE ALSO :Uhuru launches Naivasha SGR operations“We have had a big problem with middle men who take advantage of the farmers and end up buying their rice at very low prices. The government will now set the standards and farmers will have an option where they can take their crop for better prices,” said Mwea MP Kabinga Wachira. Renewed optimism “I am telling the farmers to double their efforts as their rice may not even be enough, we are so grateful to our president.” Wachira said the government has also allocated Sh200 million for the strategic food reserve fund, money which will also be under the management of the National Cereals and Produce Board. He said rice farmers had been waiting for such steps from the government so that they can benefit from their hard work. Kabinga said rice farmers would in total benefit with Sh960 million from the government. The big chunk of reforms was however reserved for the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) with farmers expectant with quicker implementation to see if the crop will offer them the right price. The president noted that while farmers should be earning Sh91 per kilo for their tea, they are currently earning about Sh41 with Sh50 per kilo going to brokers and middlemen. A key proponent for reforms at the KTDA former permanent secretary Irungu Nyakera said the suggested reforms will depend on the speed that the responsible government departments move with to actualize what the president directed. “We pray that the CS Agriculture, Competition Authority and various investigative organs will heed the directives and move with speed to save the tea farmer from the shackles of tea cartels and rogue director,” he said.
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