Saturday, 23 April 2016

Miraa is now a cash crop


Joseph Mambili Yesterday 11997
– President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced Ksh1 billion fund for miraa farmers because of the ban crop in UK and the Netherlands in 2014
– The head of state said the funds will be availed through the Ministry of Agriculture
– President Kenyatta also announced the formation of a new task force to look into issues affecting miraa farming
President Uhuru Kenyatta has allocated a budget of KSh1 billion to support Miraa growers from the challenges they encountered because of the ban of Miraa in the European markets.
Meru leaders wanted an action by the State after the crop was banned in the UK and the Netherlands in 2014.
The President spoke at State House Nairobi when he signed into law a Bill that will categorise Miraa as a cash crop.
The president added that he had asked the Cabinet that discussed government budgetary priorities in Naivasha last week for the next financial year to include the funds to support Miraa like other cash crops.
The amended Crops act will make the crop to benefit from government budgetary funding. The funds will be channeled through the ministry of Agriculture and directed Agriculture Cabinet Secretary to sit with the Meru leadership to agree on the mode of disbursement.
The farmers have now legal backing to grow, harvest and sell Miraa produce in the country without any hindrances.
The Mediated Version of the Miscellaneous Amendment Bill No 2 makes minor amendments to the Crops Act to recognize Miraa as a cash crop. The Act obligates the National Government to establish mechanisms for promotion, Production, distribution and marketing of Miraa as a cash crop.
The event was also witnessed by Deputy President William Ruto and the Meru political leadership at State House, Nairobi,
The President regretted the tribulations farmers have been experiencing.
This historical law we have signed today giving Miraa the legal backing as a cash crop will also give the crop the foundation of recognition in formal government structures,” he said.
Uhuru announced formation of a new task force to look into the ills afflicting the Miraa sub-sector and make recommendations for implementation by the government.
The old task force was disbanded after Meru leaders moved to court.
During the meeting, Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi, Women Rep Florence Kajuju and the chairman of Meru Parliamentary group Mithika Linturi lauded the President for the efforts to revive the Miraa sub-sector.
We are happy with your government for addressing the development concerns of the Meru people in terms of infrastructure development, construction of dams and issuance of title deeds,” the leaders told the President.
President Kenyatta said while leaders have a right to exercise competitive politics, they should tell Kenyans the truth for the sake of unity and tangible development.
Speaking during the occasion, Deputy President said Jubilee government is committed to resolve all development challenges facing the Meru region and asked the county governments to ensure prudent use of public funds saying accountability is not negotiable.
The meeting was also attended by leaders of Majority in National Assembly and Senate Aden Duale and Kithure Kindiki respectively.
The UK government’s controversial Khat ban one year ago has been widely felt in Kenya.
National carrier Kenya Airways has lost half a billion shillings in the wake of the UK government’s ban on khat.

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