Farmers want moribund association revived
By James Munyeki
Farmers in Nyandarua have called on the Government to revive the Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) so that it can supply affordable farm inputs to farmers.
Speaking in Nyahururu Thursday, the farmers led by Kinyanjui Kimata, a farmer in Kinangop, said the collapse of KFA left farmers at the mercy of traders who are selling inputs like fertilisers at exorbitant prices.
The Government’s effort to revive the farmers’ body by pumping in Sh2 billion was thwarted by a group of directors who went to court claiming KFA was a private institution and the State should not interfere with the same.
By then, KFA owed creditors Sh500 million and the Sh2 billion was to pay the debt while the rest was to be used to procure farm inputs.
Mr Kimata said they had reliably learnt that since the directors blocked the Government’s move, a lot of assets belonging to KFA had been sold by creditors to recover their money.
"We want the Government to move with speed and protect farmers’ interests. We must be told how many assets have been sold so far and outstanding debt," he said.
Employees have also not been paid their salaries for about four years and are demanding that creditors be compelled by the Government to use part of the money received from the auctions to pay them their dues.
"We should be told when we will get our dues," demanded Jane Chepng’etich, who is among employees retrenched from KFA in 2002 and are yet to get their terminal dues.
Former minister G G Kariuki claimed in a meeting at Mahianyu in Laikipia West that KFA and KPCU were run down by the Kanu regime as a way of fighting some communities economically.
Recently, the National Cereals and Produce Board moved to provide farmers with inputs like fertilizer, something that raised a storm with sector players. After a few teething problems however, the board is settling down to the role.
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