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Farmers feel left out in the amendment process

Farmers in the North Rift region have felt left out in the constitutional amendment report through Building Bridges Initiative.
Kenya National Federation of Farmers feel the report has failed to capture views on how to revamp the ailing Agricultural sector.
The Federation’s Chairman William Kimosong while speaking to KNA Friday said that the final report should give assurance farmers of minimum return fund for farmers.
“To transform Agriculture in a meaningful and sustainable way, we need a clause in the report that will guarantee transformation of the sector that will improve the socioeconomic lives of more than 75 per cent of the country’s population,” he said.
According to Kimosong, having a vibrant agricultural sector is one way of addressing unemployment.
The farmers also want a fund established that will address farm inputs such as fertilizer subsidies that will boost agriculture business stabilization.
He said that the fund will be used to cushion farmers against poor prices in the event that farm produce market price return lower than expected price of commodity.
Kimosong pointed out that neglecting farmers was the surest way of perpetuating poverty among farmers.
The farmers also want an increase of budgetary allocation to the Agricultural sector by 3 per cent each successive year to achieve the Malabo declaration of 10 per cent by 2025.
The farmers further want representation in all organizations, institutions and processes that have a bearing on the livelihoods and quality of life which include parastatals, commissions and agencies that affect farmers.
According to Kimosong, most of what they had submitted during the public participation had not been captured.
The farmers are raising concerns even as leaders want the submissions closed as they could derail the process.

By Pauline Ikanda

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