Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri has hit out at unscrupulous traders who are out to benefit in place of farmers, who are looking to sell their maize to NCPBs. The CS has once again warned traders who are out to exploit farmers who can’t deliver their produce to cereals boards. Addressing the press while flagging off bags of fertilizer in Mombasa, Kiunjuri noted that traders normally buy maize from farmers and they make profits of around Kshs 800 to Kshs 1000. he revealed that trailers had been seen in Nakuru, purporting they didn’t belong to farmers, “How many farmers can afford trailers or how many can afford to grow enough maize to fill a full trailer?” posed the CS. He said farmers will be vetted to ensure who are real farmers, and farms will be checked, “We are not going to be arm twisted because the money we are using is paid as taxes by Kenyans. We can’t allow room for unscrupulous traders to take advantage of the government,” he said.
He added that the same situation is prevalent when it comes to the collection of fertilizer, as some traders take advantage to bag distributed fertilizer. Furthermore, he revealed that farmers are going to be registered and it’s already decided, “Any farmer who won’t be registered won’t receive maize and won’t receive subsidies from the government. The poor farmers in the village are suffering, the farmers whose fertilizers are stolen on the way, they never reach them,” said Kiunjuri.
He assured Kenyans that the government is still committed to farmers, adding that allocation of fertilizer by the government will have reached farmers by the end of next week, “If the last truck leaves here on Wednesday next week, we expect that by Saturday next week they reach the destination after that the government won’t be able to provide extra fertilizer,” he said. However, he revealed they’ve pushed through a supplementary budget for an allocation of further Kshs 1.2 billion to ensure that they have good fertilizer in good time.