Uhuru orders Treasury to release Ksh.500M for buying excess milk
President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed Treasury to release Ksh. 500million to buy all excess milk and turn it to powder milk.
Speaking on Tuesday in his address to the nation, the President said his second priority this year is to increase money in the pockets of Kenyan farmers.
“I direct the National Treasury to impose 16% Value Added Tax on milk imports from outside the East African Community. I also order the National Treasury to release Ksh. 575million to purchase processing plants in Nyeri and Nyahururu,” he said.
Kenya resolved to impose 16% VAT on milk products from Uganda in December last year.
According to the Daily Nation, the move was to calm down simmering tensions between farmers from the two countries.
A bilateral meeting held between country officials agreed that the VAT would remedy concerns since the same rule applies to Kenyan imports to Uganda.
On Tuesday, President Kenyatta further reiterated revenue must be increased to farmers and not middle men.
He ordered the release of Ksh. 375million to buy rice from Kano and Mwea for distribution to disciplined forces and boarding schools.
On tea, he noted that the industry has been experiencing harsh times with key concerns on low returns, delays and issues at the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA).
He faulted KTDA over recent emerging issues such as conflict of interest by some of the directors.
“KTDA and tea selling must have some radical changes to enable farmers earn more. From a sale of Ksh. 91, farmers are getting only 40. 50 bob goes to middlemen,” the President lamented.
According to him, Competitions Authority must step in to deal with the situation.
He said each of the subsidiaries must account separately and clearly show the returns for farmers.
“Some people have taken advantage to exploit farmers. Soko huru or mùkohoro buy from farmers and sell to KTDA directly,” he added.
The President said 50percent of the money from sales must be given to farmers and the rest as bonus.
He directed that tea regulations be published within two weeks.
For the coffee sector, President Kenyatta instructed the Agriculture Ministry to publish coffee regulations and use the Ksh. 3billion cherry fund within 30 days.
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