The government has been urged to introduce a prompt payment law that is consistent with best global practices to assist farmers who supply goods to retailers and supermarkets to address the issue of late payments.
The chairman of South Rift Farmers’ Association Justus Monda said, smallholder farmers have suffered silently for a long time due to delayed payments for their farm produce, which in most cases makes them spend a lot of time and money following up on their debts.
He said there was a need for laws and regulations that specify days when suppliers of common user services must be paid and penalties for any form of violation so as to end the decadent practices that have a negative impact on the economy.
He noted with concern that the national and county governments were the major culprits of late payments to suppliers and have constantly carried over debts from one financial year to another.
However, he said prompt payments have the capacity of resuscitating the economy which has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic. He was speaking during a press conference in Nakuru town.
He added that delayed payments by supermarkets and other retailers have contributed a great deal to farmers selling their produce at low prices to brokers to meet emergencies such as school fees for their children, drugs and feeds for their animals.
Apart from that, Monda said the majority of farmers do not have any other source of income and that was the reason they end up selling their produce at throwaway prices to brokers who dangle the much-needed cash.
Besides, he said farming was a high-risk venture with low returns, and they are exposed to other risks such as vagaries of climate change that leads to various disasters, including poor germination of seeds.
By Veronica Bosibori