Winstone Chiseremi @Wchiseremi
Maize farmers in Rift Valley region have resolved to sue the government for failing to settle their payments for produce supplied to National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
During a crisis meeting held at Teachers Advisory Centre in Eldoret yesterday, the disgruntled growers said they are putting up a formidable legal team to fight for their dues amounting to Sh3.5 billion.
Led by Moiben MP Silas Tiren, the farmers accused the government of giving them empty promises whenever they raised the issue of payment for maize delivered to various depots since December last year.
Tiren said they would not relent in their quest to demand for their money, adding that they have reached a point of no return.
The seven-hour meeting was attended by representatives of maize farmers from counties in both North Rift and South Rift regions.
Former Eldoret South MP Jesses Mais told the government to hasten the payment for farmers to avoid the looming legal battle.
“It is unfortunate that the government has been taking the maize farmers in Rift Valley region for a ride since last year instead of addressing their plight,” he said.
Moira Chepkok, a farmer from Ainabkoi sub-county, said she is still stranded with 300 bags of maize weighing 90 kilogrammes each, harvested last year.
Kenya Farmers Association director Kipkorir Menjo urged the government to cushion farmers against unnecessary losses by expediting their payments, adding that many farmers have reduced their land under maize plantation due to frustration.