Ruto is dancing and dishing out money while we sink in poverty- Uasin Gishu farmers
5 months ago, 16 Apr 18:18
- Farmers from Uasin Gishu accused Ruto of not intervening to ensure maize farming and selling is seamless
- They wondered whether food production was among the four pillars Uhuru and Ruto pledged to prioritise
- Farmers who delivered maize to national cereals board have not been paid since early 2018
- Kenya Farmers Association Director said selling maize in Kenya has become a process to impoverish farmers
Farmers in Uasin Gishu have hit out at Deputy President William Ruto for neglecting their plight at the expense of his 2022 presidential bid.
The angry farmers-who are yet to receive payment for the maize they delivered to National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) stores since January 2018-say it is disheartening to see Ruto hopping in helicopters from one place to another drumming up support for his 2022 presidential bid yet their needs remain neglected.
“We only see him airborne in expensive choppers criss crossing the country as if he doesn’t remember we voted for him,"
"He has been on nonstop visits to many counties dishing out money and dancing while we remain in long queues unable to deliver maize and get payment for the delivered grains,” said Edwin Kurgat, a farmer at Eldoret's NCPB branch.
The agitated farmer wondered why Ruto would move to Central Kenya and other regions to waiver loans for coffee and other cash crops farmers failed to repay, while maize and wheat farmers continue to grapple with living in poverty.
“Budgets for maize imports are done in a week’s time while we the local farmers are being told to wait for the next financial year to be paid money for the maize we delivered from December last year. We are no longer a priority, the government has used and dumped us,” he added.
Kurgat’s sentiments were echoed by Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) Director Kipkorir Menjo who said selling maize in Kenya has become a tedious process that is impoverishing farmers.
“Selling locally produced maize in Kenya has become more difficult than selling bhang and other illegal commodities,
"The government wants farmers to fill complicated forms, queue for weeks to deliver maize and wait for the next financial year to get money for last season’s yields,” he said.
Ruth Maraba, another farmer, told TUKO.co.ke farmers have gotten poorer under the Jubilee regime.
She wondered whether food production is truly among the four pillars President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto pledged to prioritise in their second term.
“The government needs to tell maize and wheat farmers where to go, the way we are being tossed back and forth makes us feel like maize farming is an illegality in the country,” she said.
The angry farmers further condemned Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen for insulting Moiben MP Silas Tiren who has been advocating for their rights at the NCPB depots and in parliament.
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