DP William Ruto has directed the ministries of agriculture and ICT to register all the 2.5 million farmers in the country in a bid to deal with what he termed as cartels and brokers who have taken control of agriculture sector.
The registration will start next week and Ruto said all details concerning the farmers will be used to identify those who are genuine to benefit from government subsidy programmes.
He said the government does not have money to pay brokers and conmen who fleece farmers.
“With data on the farmers we will be able to plan well for the subsidized farm inputs and also payments when farmers deliver their produce to NCPB”, said Ruto
He also directed treasury to pay maize farmers sh 2 Billion which is part of money owed to them at the NCPB.
Ruto complained that brokers and some farmers had teamed up to import maize from Uganda and Tanzania then sell it to the NCPB.
He said the government last used sh 3.5 Billion to buy maize last year.
This year he said the government had bought 3.5 million bags of maize and half of it was imported by the traders who were now busy organizing demonstrations against the government to demand payments.
“We have never paid farmers in the history of NCPB the amount of sh 7 Billion so far given to farmers”, he said.
He said the NCPB was in a crisis because of the brokers who had imported maize and flooded the same at NCPB stores. The importers have been buying the maize at less than sh 1,800 per 90 kg bag and selling the same to the NCPB at sh 3,200.
He was speaking in Uasin Gishu County at the thanksgiving service for Trade PS Dr Chris Kiptoo at Moiben. Present also were Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok, Finance CS Henry Rotich, Senators Kipchumba Murkomen, Harun Cheruiyot and Margaret Kamar and Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut, area MP Sila Tiren among others. Also present were governors Alex Tolgos and Stanley Kiptis.
Murkomen claimed that one of the traders from Moiben had teamed up with politicians and imported 90,000 bags of maize to sell to the NCPB.
“We said the jubilee government is for delivering and not empty talk” said Ruto.
He said the government was tamarcking more than 400 kilometers of roads in is Uasin Gishu to ensure residents enjoy better transport.
The DP said 30,000 elders in the county would benefit from monthly stipends under the cash transfer prgramme and they would also be enrolled under the NHIF so that they benefit from improved healthcare.
“In five years every household will be under the NHIF programme so that all Kenyans enjoy government sponsored healthcare”, said DP Ruto.
He said as from Thursday the second phase of the last mile electrification project would be launched at a cost of Sh 15 Billion.