Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has accused Uhuru Kenyatta of short changing Kenyan farmers a day after the President announced that NCPB will be buying maize from farmers at 2500 shillings per bag.
The former Majority Leader in the senate said in a statement that it was wrong for government to buy maize cheaply without cushioning the farmers through provision of subsidized inputs such as fertilizer and seeds.
The senator now says that the president’s announcement yesterday is a political gimmick meant to hoodwink farmers into believing that something is being done to alleviate their suffering.
“I’m equally shocked that the government has directed maize to be bought at ksh2,500, to the detriment of the farmers who are in need of government support now more than ever to be able to deal with the economic shocks brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. It seems discriminatory that while the government is rolling out intervention measures to revive other sectors of the economy, farmers are being asked to accept a paltry 2,500, despite the high cost of production.” Murkomen said.
Murkomen now wants the Ministry of Agriculture to buy maize from farmers at Ksh3,500 per bag to shield farmers from the losses occasioned by high production costs and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He further wants NCPB to provide subsidized farm inputs to farmers.
Yesterday after a meeting with North Rift Governors at his Harambee office, the president directed that maize be purchased from farmers at Ksh2,500, a move that did not go down well with a section of farmers from maize growing areas.
On the governors who met the president, an angry senator took a dig at the leaders saying that they are condemning farmers to perpetual poverty and hopelessness.
“It is shameful for leaders from maize growing regions to be part of this PR exercise being propagated by the government through Ministry of Agriculture to hoodwink our farmers who look up to us for redemption from the tentacles of poverty.”