Farmers set to gain from policy push
Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria has asked the National government to formulate a policy to ensure farmers across the country have guaranteed minimum returns for their produce.
He said cotton, coffee, pyrethrum, tea and sugarcane are some of the major cash crops which thousands of people rely on as source of livelihood.
He said lack of a policy to ensure a constant return price continue to see the farmers being exploited and end up getting meager returns.
Speaking at his office, the governor said the trend in the decline of tea bonus payments should serve as a wake-up call for the government to institute measures to protect farmers.
“Having a guaranteed minimum return price is the only we can ensure our farmers are getting what is rightfully theirs,” Wa Iria (pictured) added.
He expressed concern that under the current scenario it is likely that prices are being decided by a few people who manipulate the calculations and determine what the farmer should get.
“Does anybody care to know how the calculations on what the farmers will get is arrived at? he asked.
He said across the country farmers are crying foul due to reduced prices, attributing it to cartels in various sectors who have been exploiting them.
“We need a policy which will state clearly what a farmer should get out of their crop and the government should also have a kitty to cater for this,” he added.
Wa Iria warned that if the trend continues, the tea sector could collapse just like the coffee, cotton and pyrethrum which were crippled due to poor payment.
He said the national government should come up with a lasting solution to the problem, adding that it is also going to save the economy.
“We have seen some people uprooting tea bushes, it could not be the best idea, but they feel frustrated by poor returns” said Wa Iria.