Maize farmers start receiving pay after presidential order


Maize farmers start receiving pay after presidential order
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri

In Summary

  • Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri announced that over 200 farmers received a combined Ksh.200 million on Friday.
  • He insisted that only those farmers who were verified would receive the payments promising to have every farmer paid by next week.
  • On Thursday, a tough talking President Uhuru Kenyatta, speaking during the Nairobi Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) Show at Jamhuri Grounds, Nairobi, stated that the money to pay maize farmers was catered for in the budget.

The government on Friday released the first batch of the nearly Ksh.1 billion meant for maize farmers a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta complained over the delay.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri announced that over 200 farmers received a combined Ksh.200 million on Friday.

“The government has released Ksh.978 million to pay farmers for maize delivered during 2017/2018 season. The first batch of 227 farmers have today received KSh200 million for the payment of the balance of KSh778 million which is currently being processed,” Mr. Kiunjuri announced via his Twitter account.

He insisted that only those farmers who were verified would receive the payments promising to have every farmer paid by next week.

“The payment is strictly meant for genuine farmers who were verified by the Multi-Agency Team. NCPB staff will work throughout the weekend to expedite the payments to farmers, in compliance with the Presidential directive,” he added.

Agriculture Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe, NCPB Eldoret silo manager Renson Korir and six other officials were arrested and charged over suspicious payments of Ksh.6 billion were made to some farmers.

A section Rift Valley MPs on Wednesday threatened to lead street protests if the government fails to pay maize farmers claiming that the first batch of payments was paid to brokers.

“If by Monday they will have not paid the farmers, we will organize massive demonstrations in major towns in maize growing zones. We will bring farmers to the streets of Kitale, Moi’s Bridge, Eldoret, Kapsabet, Nandi Hills, Nakuru and all other maize growing areas,” said Keter at Parliament building.

On Thursday, a tough talking President Uhuru Kenyatta, speaking during the Nairobi Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) Show at Jamhuri Grounds, Nairobi, stated that the money to pay maize farmers was catered for in the budget.

“The money meant to pay maize farmers was in the budget last year, and we know it is the people at the NCPB who – instead of paying farmers that toiled on their farms for maize to sell in order to educate their children – went and paid a few wealthy individuals and traders and ran out of money to pay the hardworking farmers,” said President Kenyatta.

He also threatened criminal action against NCPB officials involved in the alleged mishandling of the funds further warning against future similar occurrences.

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