TO SERVE FARMERS BETTER

Rift Valley farmers applaud Uhuru order to revive KFA

Uhuru while speaking during the Ushirika Day celebrations on Saturday ordered CS Mwangi Kiunjuri to immediately embark on plans to revive KFA and KPCU as from (Monday.

In Summary

• KFA has assets including land and warehouses valued at Sh10 billion in major towns.

• Farmers say the revival of KFA which has its headquarters in Nakuru will help them to direct source for farm inputs at cheaper costs.

Chairman of the Strategic Food Reserves Fund Noah Wekesa (centre) during a meeting with a farmers in Eldoret on Thursday.
MAIZE Chairman of the Strategic Food Reserves Fund Noah Wekesa (centre) during a meeting with a farmers in Eldoret on Thursday.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

Rift Valley farmers have welcomed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order to have the Kenya Farmers Association and the Kenya Planters Cooperative Union revived.

KFA director Kipkorir Menjo and Moiben MP Sila Tiren and several farmers representatives said Uhuru’s order had been long overdue. 

“This is a move in the right direction because KFA which is owned by farmers will enable them to source their own farm inputs at cheaper costs than is the case now,” Menjo said in Eldoret yesterday.

 

Uhuru, while speaking during the Ushirika Day celebrations on Saturday, ordered Agriculture CS Mwangi to immediately embark on plans to revive KFA and KPCU as from Monday so that they can serve farmers interests.

Tiren and Menjo said farmers would closely work with Munya to ensure that KFA is fully revived as directed by the President.

The farmers had early this year presented a proposal to the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture seeking support for the revival of KFA.

“KFA has a wide network and capacity to handle particularly the issue of farm inputs for farmers as was the case before it collapsed,” Menjo said.

The association’s assets including land and warehouses are valued at more than Sh10 billion, but most of them have been sold to repay debts amounting to more than Sh2 billion.

Menjo said the KFA is now stable and can help improve the performance of the agriculture sector if supported by the government.

The KFA issue was extensively discussed on Friday at a farmers meeting in Eldoret attended by chairman of the Strategic Food Reserves Fund Noah Wekesa.

 

At the meeting, angry farmers accused Kiunjuri of failing to run his docket effectively and ignoring views from them.

Tiren wondered why Kiunjuri was quick to pay maize importers their Sh1.8 billion debts yet more than Sh8 billion owed to the NCPB remained unpaid.

Wekesa insisted that the country will not need to import more than two million bags of maize.

"If he was releasing the money to pay debts, then priority would have been given to NCPB first and not individuals," Tiren said.

Tiren said the payments were illegal because the money had not been approved by Dr Wekesa's board.

Other farmers representatives including lawyer Simon Lilan, Paul Kerich and David Boinnet accused Kiunjuri of siding with cartels that were frustrating farmers in the country.

“If he is unable to run the ministry as required he should resign and let the President appoint someone else to help farmers,” Tiren said.

(edited by O. Owino)