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November 17, 2018

State told to pay Sh3.5bn owed to farmers

DP WIlliam Ruto chats with Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago during the launch of Kesses Costituency youth technical training programme in Eldoret.Pic\Charles Kimani\DPPS
DP WIlliam Ruto chats with Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago during the launch of Kesses Costituency youth technical training programme in Eldoret.Pic\Charles Kimani\DPPS

Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago (pictured) has asked the government to urgently release Sh3.5 billion owed to maize farmers.

The money is to pay farmers for maize delivered to the National Cereals and Produce Board since December last year. Mandago has faulted the EACC for stopping the release of the money because of the ongoing probe into Sh1.9 billion questionable maize purchases at the NCPB.

The governor said a few individuals involved in the scheme should not cause more than 3,000 farmers to suffer. “We cannot lump all the farmers together and refuse to pay them just because of investigations of a few individuals,” Mandago said on Friday.

He said if the farmers are not paid, this will hurt maize production and cause serious shortages at a time when Kenya is trying to improve food security.

Mandago spoke when the county government hired 700 youths under an internship programme. The programme will cost more than Sh100 million in one year. Rift Valley farmers have petitioned MPs to push the state to pay them and written to the EACC to release its report into the Sh1.9 billion probe.

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