Second National Conservation Agriculture Conference

Second National Conservation Agriculture Conference

Deputy President William Ruto has asked the Ministry of Agriculture to immediately pay maize farmers.

He said the farmers need the funds to prepare their land and plant.

At the same time, Mr Ruto said the Government was investigating some unscrupulous business people posing as maize farmers.

He said the group had bought maize across the borders and sold to the National Cereals and Produce Board thereby denying local farmers the opportunity to earn from their produce.

Mr Ruto attributed the cause of payment delays to farmers to the crooked businesspeople who have dumped maize from neghbouring countries to the cereals board.

We recognise the need for more productivity and higher incomes for farmers, but we must also be fair to the environment and that is why the conversation on conservation agriculture is important.

The Deputy President announced that the ministry will register all farmers in the next 90 days to weed out those bend on sabotaging the Government subsidy programme and weed out cartels.

The Big Four agenda is about scaling up agriculture and expanding our productive possibilities to sustain economic growth, create employment and increase competitiveness in the sector.

He was speaking during the official opening of the Second National Conservation Agriculture Conference, held at a Nairobi hotel.

Leaders present were Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe (Agriculture), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Kenya representative Dr Gabriel Rugalema and European Union (EU), Kenya representative, Myra Bernardi.

Mr Ruto said in order to reap the dividends of Conservation Agriculture, we need to have a minimum of 10 percent of farmers countrywide to adopt the practice, saying county governments were perfect partners in ensuring the success of the programme.

He said the Government will continue to support farmers by ensuring zero rated farm machinery, soil friendly fertilizer and availing fertilizer at Sh1,500 per 50 kilogramme bag.

Mr Ruto challenged the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation to formulate sound policies and a viable implementation framework so as to anchor the approach to sustain productivity.