Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS), Peter Munya, has said the government will buy rice at a constant price of Sh85 per Kg from farmers.
Munya made the announcement, when he addressed rice farmers at Kenya National Trading Company (KNTC) stores in Mwea, Kirinyaga County where he flagged-off trucks transporting rice to various markets.
KNTC is the state organ for buying rice on behalf of the Kenya government. The move will see traders faced with lack of enough storage facilities sell the product to the government.
“This is the information I have, we will buy your rice like last year, with the same price,” Munya said.
Munya added that KNTC has set aside an initial amount of Sh100 million to buy rice this season and added farmers will be paid instantly.
“We have talked with KNTC, they have set aside 100 million which they will pay farmers even before they sell their rice,” CS said.
However, Munya said from next year the government will not guarantee the farmers a constant price of Sh85 a Kg. due to lack of stable domestic market and stiff competition from cheaper varieties.
“From next year I can’t assure you we will buy, we have to negotiate again, because we buy and sell at a better price, but yours is higher than market price,” Munya alluded.
“We have been buying and selling to domestic markets like prisons, supermarkets, and military but now they prefer cheaper varieties available in the market,” he said.
He said there are other areas that produce rice in the country in addition to imported rice which are cheaper than the common Pishori produced in Mwea. He urged the farmers to diversify to different varieties.
The CS also said rice farmers should take advantage of Commodity Fund, which the Ministry is giving out to farmers at a low interest rate of five (5) per cent.
“We have Commodity Fund under my Ministry which is offered at 5% interest. You can take it instead of others that charge 13 %,” Munya said.
Munya also said the government no longer provides subsidized fertilizers because of brokerage that marred the process.
Interviews with farmers revealed a different picture on the announcement, with most saying they will return to the government to buy even with higher prices.
Josphine Githinji, a farmer in Tebere section lauded the Cabinet Secretary for buying the product this season and hoped next year they will negotiate with the government and amicably settle on a better price.
She further urged the government to reduce the prices of pesticides, especially for snails that destroy rice farms.
“Snails have invaded our nurseries and the price of pesticides is high, I wish the government would reduce the price. It is four thousand shillings per liter,” she said.
Wetangula Ally Majimbo Kalasinga Switches Loyalty to DP Ruto
Ford Kenya leader and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula has suffered a setback after his ally declared support for Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.
Kabuchai MP Joseph Majimbo Kalasinga joined the hustler bandwagon during the DP’s tour of Bungoma County last Friday.
“You supported me a lot and I must reciprocate that gesture,” Kalasinga told the DP while addressing residents at Chwele trading centre.
The MP’s about-turn has sparked speculation over whether he has the blessings of his party boss who has on numerous occasions denied links to Ruto.
The MP claimed to have brought greetings from Wetang’ula.
“Our beloved DP Ruto let me tell you that you and Bungoma are one thing and we are ready to work with you in your quest to empower the hustlers of this country,” he said.
But Wetangula’s aide Wafula Wakoli rubbished Majimbo’s claims saying Ford Kenya had no plans of working with UDA.
“Ford Kenya Party has mechanisms and structures to do things and the sentiments by Majimbo that he had been sent by our party leader Moses Wetang’ula to tell DP Ruto that as a party we are supporting his hustler narrative is total lies,” he said.
Wakoli said Ford Kenya was working with One Kenya Alliance.
“We want to say that those sentiments by Kalasinga were his own and not those of the Lion’s party,” he said.
He asked Ford Kenya members to rally behind Wetangula.
“Our party is firm under the able leadership of Wetangula and we are working with other leaders of One Kenya Alliance to take our people to State House come August next year,” he said.
Wakoli said that the party has MCA’s and other MPs who have not declared support for UDA.
Kalasinga joined five Jubilee Party MPs from Bungoma who accompanied the DP during the tour of the county.
Interestingly, the lawmaker was in the company of UDA’s Evans Kakai who came second after garnering 6,455 votes in the by-election.
Kalasinga garnered 19,274 votes to trounce seven candidates in the March 4 by-election. The by-election was occasioned by the death of former MP James Mukwe who was an ally of Ruto.
This comes even as pundits opine that the sibling rivalry within Ford Kenya seems to be a blessing in disguise for Ruto’s UDA party.
Politicians allied to the DP in Bungoma have been taking advantage of cracks in Ford Kenya to solidify his support base.
Ford Kenya has split down the middle, with the Bungoma Senator leading one faction, while the other wing is led by MPs Wafula Wamunyinyi (Kanduyi) and Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren).
The party split following a coup attempt where Wamunyinyi declared himself the party leader.
However, Wetang’ula obtained court orders stopping his removal, pending hearing and determination of the matter.
The party’s National Executive Committee had accused the senator of gross misconduct and failing to champion the unity of members.
The also accused Wetang’ula of failure to reconcile warring members.
The senator has been working to restore sanity in the party amid ongoing political realignments ahead of next year’s polls.
Tusker To Kick-off Title Defense Against AFC Leopards In FKF-PL Season Opener
FKF Premier League reigning champions Tusker will kick off their title defense campaign with a crucial match against AFC Leopards in the 2021-2022 topflight fixtures released by the federation on Friday.
According to the fixtures, the season will kick off next week on Saturday, September 25 with another top match featuring record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia and last season runners up KCB.
However, before the league kicks off, local league champions Tusker and FKF Cup holders Gor Mahia will clash on Wednesday in the traditional Super Cup curtain-raiser.
National Super League champions FC Talanta and runners-up Vihiga Bullets will join other 15 teams in the topflight league after earning automatic promotion slots.
Talanta will mark their return to the top league with a match against Wazito FC as Vihiga Bullets entertain Bidco United.
The last team to join and complete the 18-team league will be known on Sunday Vihiga United and Kenya Police FC set to clash in the second leg of the promotion play-off having played out to a 1-1 draw last weekend.
The new FKF-PL season will kick off without a title sponsor after the exit of Nigerian gaming firm BetKing.
According to the new fixtures, Bandari will host Mathare, Posta Rangers entertain Kariobangi Sharks and Sofapaka play Nairobi City Stars.
2021-2022 FKF-PL Fixtures
Opening weekend, Saturday, September 25
Posta Rangers v Kariobangi Sharks, Thika Stadium
Gor Mahia v KCB, MISC Kasarani 1pm
Vihiga Bullets v Bidco United, Bukhungu Stadium
Bandari v Mathare United, Mbaraki Stadium
Talanta v Wazito, MISC Kasarani
Sofapaka v Nairobi City Stars, Nyayo National Stadium
Sunday, September 26
AFC Leopards v Tusker Nyayo National Stadium, 1 pm
Ulinzi v Nzoia Sugar ASK Grounds, Nakuru
Kakamega Homeboyz v Vihiga United/Police FC, Bukhungu