REVIVAL UNDERWAY

North Rift farmers, leaders want Sh12bn KFA assets devolved

The property owned by the troubled Kenya Farmers Association comprise stores, go-downs and commercial shops.

In Summary

• KFA has 67 branches countrywide but only 33 stores are functioning, with most of them operating below capacity.

• The assets are located in most counties, with association headquartered in Nakuru.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago in Eldoret on July 29, 2020.
FARMERS DEMANDS: Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago in Eldoret on July 29, 2020.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

North Rift farmers and leaders have appealed to the government to speed up the revival of the cash-strapped Kenya Farmers Association and devolve its management to the counties.

Led by Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, they said they want the more than Sh12 billion assets in stores, go-downs and commercial shops managed by counties.

Agriculture CS Peter Munya has formed a task force to revive KFA. President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered that it be brought to life for the benefit of the agricultural sector.

 
 

Mandago urged legislators to table a bill in Parliament to devolve KFA assets to the counties so farmers can use them better. By doing so, the counties with silos will help farmers to store their harvests as they wait for the market, the county chief said. Currently, the stores are not benefiting farmers, he added.

KFA has 67 branches countrywide but only 33 stores are functional, with most of them operating below capacity. The assets are located in most counties, with association headquartered in Nakuru.

"We want the KFA assets to benefit farmers and the best way is to have them given to counties under a plan that will also involve the farmers in respective counties," Mandago suggested.

He spoke during the burial of Willie Kibet arap Maina in Ziwa-Cheplelaibei, Uasin Gishu. Kibet was a prominent farmer in the region. Deputy President William Ruto offered his condolences in a statement read by Mandago.

Mandago proposed the government partner with the counties and farmers to revive and strengthen key institutions in the agricultural sector, including the National Cereals and Produce Board, which is also ailing.

Mandago, also chairman of the North Rift Economic Bloc, urged residents to adhere to the Ministry of Health's anti-coronavirus protocols to help flatten the curve of the contagion.

Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno said, "Take heed of the county government's advice on diversification by planting promotional crops. They are valuable; they will improve and uplift our living standards."

 
 

Soy MP Caleb Kositany said the revival of the economy was of prime importance because many Kenyans have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 crisis.

"We should strictly adhere to Covid-19 control measures as we work on the economic recovery plans," he said.

 

Edited by F'Orieny