TIME TO WORK

End celebrations and help farmers, Buzeki tells Rift leaders

Says unless they take quick action, growers will continue to suffer due to shortages and high costs of farm inputs.

In Summary

• He said one of the key issues that most of the leaders committed to do was to support farmers on accessing quality and affordable fertiliser.

• Buzeki said Kenya does not manufacture fertiliser, hence the need for planned interventions by its leaders and governments.

Bundotich Buzeki in Eldoret on July 30, 2022
Bundotich Buzeki in Eldoret on July 30, 2022
Image: BY MATHEWS NDANYI

Politician Bundotich Kiprop Buzeki has asked elected leaders in the Rift Valley to shed off the celebratory mood and handle pressing matters affecting farmers in the region.

This was the first time he was speaking since he lost in the contest in the Uasin Gishu governor race.

He vied as an independent candidate but lost to Jonathan Bii of UDA. He has conceded defeat but promised to continue working with locals, especially on matters economy. He has kept his word.

Buzeki warned that unless the new leaders take quick action farmers will continue to suffer due to shortages and high costs of farm inputs.

“We congratulate and celebrate our new leaders as they take over offices. We will support them through advisory, private sector action and encouragement. In playing our civic duty and as a logistical expert, let me offer my advice,” Buzeki said.

He said one of the key issues that most of the leaders committed to do was to support farmers on accessing quality and affordable fertiliser.

Buzeki said Kenya does not manufacture fertiliser, hence the need for planned interventions by its leaders and governments.

“For us to get the farmers affordable fertiliser at cheaper prices we must negotiate directly with producers in Russia, Hungary or China and strike a deal for our counties," he said in a message he sent out to the leaders.

"Considering the timelines up to the next planting season, that process has to begin now, otherwise our dear farmers will struggle again next year.

Buzeki said there was still adequate time for the counties and leaders to intervene and help farmers ahead of next year’s planting season

“Let's encourage our leaders to settle down immediately and focus on such pressing issues,” he said.

New governors in the high producing counties including George Natembeya (Trans Nzoia), Jonathan Bii in Uasin Gishu, Wisley Rotich in Elgeyo Marakwet and Nandi’s Stephen Sang have already pledged to help farmers tackle challenges affecting production.

“We will work with our farmers to ensure that we get organised to access cheaper farm inputs to produce more food for our country,” Bii said.

This year farmers faced an acute shortage of fertiliser, leading to all-time high prices for the commodity.

DAP, used for planting, was selling at about Sh7,000 per 50 kg bag, which was more than double the price two years ago.

 

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