North Rift MPs angered over Cabinet approval of Ksh.2,300 for maize
Leaders from the North Rift have rejected the Cabinet-approved Ksh.2,300 price for a bag of maize.
Led by MPs Joshua Kutuny (Cherangany) and Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), the legislators said they are opposed to the price because farmers were not consulted.
“We will not accept anything that is below Ksh.3,600. I want to tell the President, that even though the Government may not have enough money and advisors may have indicated that a lower price is sufficient, farmers are the ones that will suffer,” Kutuny said.
Speaking during a Press briefing at Parliament buildings, the Cherangany MP further urged the President to review the price endorsed by Cabinet on Thursday evening.
He also urged farmers not to take their maize to the National Cereals and Produce Board until their pleas are heard for a better price.
On his part, Keter said farmers had earlier approached the chairman of the Strategic Food Reserve Fund Noah Wekesa and urged him to review the Ksh.2,300.
“We want to know what parameters they used to come up with that that price as it does not look into what farmers expected in order to make profit,” Keter said.
The Nandi Hills legislator further criticised calls for farmers to diversify farm produce to include avocado, macadamia and other items terming it a diversionary tactic.
He was categorical that they are not opposed to diversification but remained adamant that issues facing maize farmers must be addressed first.
“Farmers supplied produce to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) but were either not promptly paid or not paid at all,” he added.
The fiery MP further alluded to a collusion between what he describes as cartels in the maize industry and the Board.
He said the cartels were paid large sums of money even as farmers continue to suffer.
Keter also told off a section of leaders who he claims call for Press conferences in an attempt to intimidate him and the affected farmers.
“We are not going to be intimidated. We represented the farmers and our people in the North Rift. The Ksh.2,300 needs to be reviewed,” he said.
He added that promoting farmers is the only way to ensure that the country has food security.
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