Mercy Mwai @wangumarci
Two lawmakers now want Agriculture Cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri to come clean on the exact price of a 90kg bag of maize.
MPs Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills) and Silas Tiren (Moiben) told Kiunjuri to explain whether the government will still buy maize at Sh2,300 or Sh3,000 following reports that the prices have been reviewed.
According to the lawmakers, the varying prices by the Ministry is bringing confusion to farmers, who have been pushing for better prices. “It is very unfortunate that even after Parliament pronouncing itself on this matter; the government has chosen to ignore the plight of farmers,” said Keter.
Addressing the press yesterday, the Tiren insisted that the government should buy maize at Sh3,600 per 90 kg bag.
The legislators claimed that they are aware of a plot by cartels to sabotage the maize sector so that they can get an opportunity to import maize in the country.
He said those asking farmers to diversify and plant other crops were doing so without carrying out any feasibility tests to determine if the crops were viable in this region.
In particular, Keter regretted that farmers are suffering as the cost of production of maize has gone up and thus the government should take the plight of farmers at hear.
“Farmers are so bitter, farmers are not happy at all and they are really suffering. It is sad that some cartels want to take advantage of our farmers,” he said.