Wheat farmers want Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) to give them interest rates concession on more than Sh500 million loan they borrowed two years ago to finance production.
They said the interest rates were making it hard for them to retire the loan, adding if allowed to pay the principal, they would clear it before end of the year.
Since AFC forwarded defaulters to the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB), they said yesterday, most of them have scaled down acreages under the crop while others stopped farming entirely because they were unable to get funding from all other financial institutions.
“Concession will enable us clear the loans. Piling interest rates have made it difficult and made most of us poor,” said Erisha Kuluo, the secretary, Narok Farmers Association.
He said auctioneers have auctioned several farms and other properties belonging to defaulters over the last six years and appealed to the president to intervene.
“The decision by AFC has led to decreased land under wheat to the detriment of the country’s food security. Farmers have become poor because of their land being auctioned,” said Kuluo. Last year, the corporation rescheduled the loans for six months that has since expired.
At a meeting with its chairman Franklin Bett and managing director Daniel Meso, farmers prevailed on management to inherit the accumulated loans because they were unable to repay them. Speaking Kuluo said because of delayed onset of rains, this year’s harvests would be compromised.