'I think the reforms that we should be currently addressing are those around empowering our farmers and seeking markets for them'
Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia has raised concern over the sharp drop in prices of farm produce.
Kimemia called for reforms to address challenges facing farmers across the country with prices of farm produce going down against a rise in farm inputs.
He cited milk and potato prices in the region, saying the drop had adversely affected thousands of farmers who rely on the produce.
He said a litre of milk was going for Sh42 months ago but it has since dropped to Sh17.
“I think the reforms that we should be currently addressing are those around empowering our farmers and seeking markets for them while the political ones can wait,” Kimemia said.
He was speaking at Engineer trading center in Kinangop. The governor said his administration was keen on addressing marketing challenges facing farmers.
“Plans are underway to construct a milk-processing plant in Kipipiri and this will address the issue of marketing for our farmers,” Kimemia said.
The governor said it was unfortunate that some brokers were still flouting the 50kg-packaging rule for potatoes to fleece farmers.
“We thank the police and the judiciary for helping implement the 50kg packaging rule but the prices and marketing of the produce still remains a challenge,” he said.
Kimemia said there were plans to elevate the town’s hospital to a level 5 with Sh100 million set aside for the project.
He said the county will close down all bars in rural areas following an increase in cases of illicit brew consumption and use of drugs.
“We shall not allow bars to operate in rural areas and for those in town we shall seek the input of residents before we license them,” Kimemia said.
He said he had signed into law the Alcoholic Control Bill meant to regulate the running of bars in the county.
“Plans are underway to open a rehabilitation center in Miharati to address the issue of drugs and alcohol in this county which has seen the population drop,” he said.
Last week, while opening the Engineer law courts, Chief Justice David Maraga decried the high number of cases involving illicit brews and drugs in the area.
edited by p. obuya