Billionaire businessman Bundotich Zedekiah Kiprop alias Buzeki has hit out at both the national government and devolved units in the North Rift for what he said was sidelining farmers.
Buzeki, responding to a recent announcement that National Cereals and Produce Board will be purchasing a 50 kilograms bag of maize at Ksh1,305 said farmers deserve better prices.
He noted that it was a shame the same farmers who supported the Jubilee government were now suffering due to poor prices for their produce.
“It is so disturbing that despite voting for Jubilee 3 times, the maize farmers from the North Rift region who greatly rely on maize as their source of livelihoods are being sidelined by the two levels of Government,” Buzeki noted in a post shared on his official Facebook page.
He noted that with the high cost of production, it was the highest level of neglect for government to set such a low price.
“Our farmers deserve better prices considering the high cost of production due to the skyrocketing prices of fertilizer, fuel, and other farm inputs. Its highest level of neglect that when the cost of inputs are on upward trajectory the Government are offering buying price that are unreasonable and unrealistic. Its even worse due to the fact that other private millers will rely on NCPB prices to set theirs.”– Buzeki, Uasin Gishu gubernatorial aspirant.
Buzeki described the NCPB price as unacceptable and challenged Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, NCPB, and President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and ensure the price is reviewed upwards.
Farmers in Uasin Gishu County have already rejected the price, saying the lowest they can accept for a 50-kg back is Ksh1,700.
Buzeki who is eyeing the Uasin Gishu gubernatorial seat further asked devolved units in the North Rift to come up with ways that will help address farmers’ woes.
He named setting up of County grain storage facilities, fertilizer sourcing and distribution mechanism, County farming machinery, and alternative marketing strategies as some of the ways of cushioning farmers who are now languishing in loses
“Given an opportunity, our farmers will be put at the Centre of my administration. We will set up a farmers’ support unit that will work with the farmer from land preparations to product marketing. Our focus will be total transformation on governance.”– Buzeki, Uasin Gishu gubernatorial aspirant.