Maize farmers still wait for pay as vetting come to close

By Titus Too | Wednesday, Sep 12th 2018 at 00:00
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Farmers have yet to receive payment for last season’s maize deliveries to the cereals board, weeks after the Government announced that it had released of Sh1.4 billion to offset the debt.

The Government last month advised farmers to fill claim forms to facilitate vetting to ensure that only the genuine ones benefited.

It also promised to expedite the payment process in 21 days.

“We encourage all those farmers who have not yet collected and returned their claim forms to do so at the earliest opportunity. This will assist the ministry to complete payment exercise within 21 days ending on Tuesday September 11 (yesterday),” stated an advert placed by the Ministry of Devolution and ASAL on August 29.

The advert stated then that 632 farmers out of the targeted 998 had collected their forms and 285 had by then returned the filled documents.

Yesterday, farmers in the North Rift region said they were still waiting for the payments. Officials at some National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depots in the region who spoke on condition of anonymity said farmers had concluded filling the vetting forms in some counties while a few had yet to conclude in Uasin Gishu.

Mr Kipkorir Menjo, the Kenya Farmers Association director for North Rift, urged the Government to act with speed and clear farmers' dues that have been outstanding for the last eight months.

“The Sh1.4 billion promised by the Government is inadequate but it will help reduce the burden on farmers... I hope the ongoing vetting will bring a lasting solution to the woes in the sector,” said Mr Menjo.

The official said farmers' representatives in the region would meet Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and Senator Margaret Kamar tomorrow to deliberate on the issues facing the cereals sub-sector.

“The Senate recently passed a motion sponsored by Senator Kamar on the challenges faced by farmers. We call for the adoption of policies and laws to protect farmers,” said Menjo.

He said once the counties got the mandate to handle cereals, corruption loopholes would be sealed.


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