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Farmers claim agriculture, food security allocation drop in the ocean

The allocation of Sh36.586 billion in the 2020/21 financial year to agriculture and food security has been termed as a drop in the ocean for the critical sector.

Farmers claim the allocation is for the benefit of the few and the Government should come clean on where the money goes after allocation.

Kenya Farmers Association Director Kipkorir arap Menjo said they expected to have more funds allocated for agricultural loans and development.

Agricultural loans, he said, require around Sh6 billion and not the Sh500 million allocated in the budget.

“If they want to revamp agriculture, they should give farmers affordable credit. We expected Agricultural Finance Corporation to get more funds so that farmers may get loans,” he said.

Menjo said there is a need to prove the statement that indeed agriculture is the backbone of the country’s economy and not just giving lofty statements.

Nicholas Bowen of Marigat Farmers Association in Baringo County said the allocation is done paper and does not take into consideration the suffering farmers go through.

Bowen said they continue to buy farm inputs at high prices despite the huge allocation of funds.

“We just hear there was an allocation of billions of money. Who benefits from the allocations is a mystery even as we continue to suffer,” said Bowen.

Aldai MP Cornelly Serem also faulted allocations to the sector.

“Our farmers will be forced to reduce cereals production acreages since the Government has failed to provide input subsidies like fertilise. The State has also failed to procure produce from farmers for the Strategic Food Reserves,” he said.

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