We also want Ksh1.2 billion, coffee, tea farmers tell President Kenyatta

We also want Ksh1.2 billion, coffee, tea farmers tell President Kenyatta

A farmer lobby group in Embu County has called upon President Uhuru Kenyatta to extend the gesture shown to miraa farmers to tea and coffee farmers by granting them Ksh1.2 billion to improve their business.

Small Scale Producer Association Secretary John Kathangu said that in the budget tea and coffee farmers were not awarded any funds, noting that the president had earlier appointed a task force led by Professor John Kaiya to look into ways to improve coffee sector but the recommendations have never been implemented.

He added that Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett last year issued guideline to the tea sector but the directive has not benefited the farmers yet.

Kathangu said it is the high time that the president took the tea and coffee sector as seriously as he takes the miraa sector and ensure the recommendations by the task force are implemented.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday directed the government to release Ksh1.2 billion to implement recommendations to improve the profitability of miraa farming.

The president issued the directive after a taskforce he formed to give recommendations on the miraa sector presented its report to him at State House, Nairobi.

Besides the Ksh1.2 billion being released for implementing the recommendations, the government also allocated another Ksh1 billion, in the budget that was presented last week, for promoting the miraa sector.

President Kenyatta said all priority recommendations by the taskforce should be implemented within the year.

“The Ksh1.2 billion that was allocated will now be released and it will be used in accordance with the recommendations of the task force,” said the president when he spoke after the report was presented to him.

Key among the immediate recommendations of the Miraa taskforce is providing seed capital for farmers to access affordable credit.

This is aimed at redemption of leased miraa farms to break the cycle of poverty. The government will facilitate the setting up of SACCOs so that farmers can access the credit in an organised manner.

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