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Friday, August 18, 2017

No funds for agriculture research in the budget

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation director general Eliud Kireger /COURTESY
Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation director general Eliud Kireger /COURTESY

Agriculture research has once again been ignored in the current budget.

Two years since the creation of the Kenya Agricultural Research and Livestock Organisation, the government is yet to allocate any funds for its operation and management.

Karlo director general Eliud Kireger said this has slowed down operations at the institute and is also demoralising the staff. Their salaries are yet to harmonised after the merger.

“Karlo was upgraded to a higher lever from under the state corporation categories. The move comes with a new salary structure, but two years down the line, the government is yet to allocate money to the organisation,” he said. Karlo was upgraded from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute.

Kari was categorised as PC 5A, while the Tea Research Foundation, Coffee Research Foundation and Kenya Sugar Research Foundation were under category PC 4A. After the merger to Karlo, the category rose to the level of PC 6A like that of state universities.

“This has not been factored in the new budget and the staff are still being paid the old salary, which accounts for Sh2.2 billion as per 2015-16 financial budget. We will need an additional Sh1.1 billion to be able to harmonise salaries as per what was developed by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission,” Kireger said. He said there are 16 semi autonomous research institutions spread across the country with more than 3,200 permanent staff and 2,000 casuals.

Kireger said no direct funding has been allocated to research this year.

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