BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,5TH OCT 2018-Just a day after president Uhuru Kenyatta talked tough about the delay in paying maize farmers by NCPB the first batch of almost Ksh.1 billion meant for maize farmers has been released
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri announced that over 200 farmers received a combined Ksh.200 million on Friday.
“The government has released Ksh.978 million to pay farmers for maize delivered during 2017/2018 season. The first batch of 227 farmers have today received KSh200 million for the payment of the balance of KSh778 million which is currently being processed,” Mr. Kiunjuri announced via his Twitter account.
He insisted that only those farmers who were verified would receive the payments promising to have every farmer paid by next week.
“The payment is strictly meant for genuine farmers who were verified by the Multi-Agency Team. NCPB staff will work throughout the weekend to expedite the payments to farmers, in compliance with the Presidential directive,” he added.
This also comes just a day after a section of Rift Valley MPs threatened to lead street protests if the government fails to pay maize farmers claiming that the first batch of payments was paid to brokers.
“If by Monday they will have not paid the farmers, we will organize massive demonstrations in major towns in maize growing zones. We will bring farmers to the streets of Kitale, Moi’s Bridge, Eldoret, Kapsabet, Nandi Hills, Nakuru and all other maize growing areas,” said Keter at Parliament building.
While opening this years’s Nairobi agricultural show on Thursday, a tough talking President Uhuru Kenyatta, at Jamhuri Grounds, Nairobi, stated that the money to pay maize farmers was catered for in the budget.
“The money meant to pay maize farmers was in the budget last year, and we know it is the people at the NCPB who – instead of paying farmers that toiled on their farms for maize to sell in order to educate their children – went and paid a few wealthy individuals and traders and ran out of money to pay the hardworking farmers,” said President Kenyatta.
The head of state further threatened criminal action against NCPB officials involved in the alleged mishandling of the funds further warning against future similar occurrences.