- •Kitui CEC member for agriculture said the passing of the bill will create wealth and weed out brokers in Ndengu value chain.
- •The sentiments were expressed during public participation forums on the Mung beans bill in Kitui last Saturday.
Kitui County Government officials have led residents in embracing and endorsing the 2020 Mung Beans Bill.
Kitui agriculture and livestock CEC member Stephen Kimwele said the Bill that aims to put mung beans in the national cash crop status, will create wealth for local farmers if passed into law.
Kimwele whose sentiments were backed by a number of Kitui residents, said the passing of the Bill to law was imperative as it will weed out exploitative brokers in the Mung beans value chain.
The county agriculture chief was making his submission during two public participation forums on the Bill at Mutomo and Kyusyani trading centres in Kitui on Saturday.
The sessions organised by the Senate standing committee on agriculture, livestock and fisheries were chaired by Kirinyaga Senator James Murango. The Mung Beans Bill is sponsored by Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua.
Besides Murango and Wambua, the other senators present were Alexander Mundigi of Embu and Bungoma's David Wakoli.
Kimwele said he hoped that Parliament would expedite the passing of the Bill to law, as the county government of Kitui was keen to implement it to the letter.
He said the law will enable Kitui farmers and those in other counties who grow Ndengu to reap great benefits unlike the prevailing situation where they hardly reap much from the crop.
“I want to assure the senate that once this bill goes through, we will implement it to the letter,” said Kimwele.
He noted that Kitui people supported Senator Wambua’s bill 100 per cent."
Kimwele said mung beans was the only reliable cash the local farmers had.
Kimwele's predecessor Emmanual Kisangau said in 2018, Kitui farmer harvested 50,000 tonnes of Ndengu and cumulatively fetched Sh2.5 billion from the sale of the crop.
Giving his contribution, a Ndengu farmer, Paul Kyalo, who is also the chairman of Mutomo market traders, said the bill was most welcome as it seeks to see Kitui farmers get government support as it happens with coffee, sugarcane and tea farmers.
“I want to say that the Ndengu farmers support the Bill 100 per cent. We are agreeable with every bit of it and as it is presented to Parliament, it must be known that we are fully behind it,” the trader said.
A farmer from Kyusyani, Angeline Ngei, said it was a new dawn for the farmers who for long have been exploited by middle men who buy the crop for Sh50 a kilogramme only to sell the same elsewhere at obscene profits.
Senator Wambua told residents that the bill seeks a framework coordinated implementation of the national policies and strategies on the development and regulations of the Ndengu industry.
He further said the passing of the bill will see the development of a framework to regulate and promote the development of the Mung beans industry in Kenya to make it competitive at the international level
Additionally he said, the law will promote increased productivity of the mung bean and generate higher income for growers.
-Edited by SKanyara