The Trans Nzoia Governor, Patrick Khaemba has asked the national government to reduce taxes on farm inputs to lower the cost of maize production and other agricultural products.
Khaemba who was reacting to Agriculture Cabinet Sectretary, Mwangi Kiunjuri’s remarks when he visited the county on Tuesday said locl farmers cannot seek international market as the cost of maize production is too high.
“The solution to low production lies is the abolition of taxes on agricultural goods, we have been subsidizing fertilizer as a county but this is not enough, more need to be done for us to compete on international market,” he said.
Maize farming has been shaky following poor prices that have pushed farmers to the edge not knowing what they can do with the cereal.
This followed over purchasing of maize by National Cereals and Produce Board with cartels taking the lead in the delivery of maize to the NCPB.
Some farmers are yet to be paid with the minister asking those with petitions to channel them through relevant county governments for further scrutiny by EACC.
Some farmers who spoke to KNA rejected their reference as cartels and asked the government to send officials to their farms to ascertain their production.
We are not happy with the government branding some of us as cartels, we feel offended and find it unfair to us, said Benson Giteru, a farmer from Kwanza Sub-County.
This comes after the national government mandated county governments to establish buying centres at ward level to beat on overcrowding at NCPB depot.
Governor Khaemba told the press that his county government will use the database on farmers to buy maize from farmers to keep at bay unscrupulous traders.
By Pauline Ikanda