Na vele verloren jaren is een klein deel van het Tana Irrigation scheme in Hola in Kenya weer een beetje tot leven gebracht. Er werd een mooie maisoogst gerealiseerd. De overheid beloofde de mais te kopen maar faalt.
Maize surplus headache for Hola farmers
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By HASSAN BARISA
Posted Wednesday, March 10 2010 at 17:59
Maize farmers at an irrigation scheme are facing huge losses because of lack of markets for their bumper harvest.
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Most of the farmers in the Hola irrigation scheme said they were now selling the grain to merchants at a throwaway price because the National Cereals and Produce Board has failed to buy the grain.
The farmers are selling the grain for Sh1,000 a bag. The government pays Sh2,300 for a 90 kg bag.
The Nation also learnt that farmers whose children had been sent home from school because of fees arrears were offering to pay with maize.
A meeting held at Hola Farmers Training School on Wednesday where about 10,000 bags of maize were being offered for sale heard that about 20 farmers had decided to sell their grain to millers in Mombasa and Kitui at a low price.
Mr Toash Hamara, a farmers’ advisory committee member, urged the farmers to be patient and wait for the government to buy their grain.
Speaking to the more than 600 farmers who attended the meeting, Mr Hamara said that although it was inconvenient to store the maize, it was also illegal to sell it without the board’s consent because it had loaned the farmers the inputs.
“How will they recover their money if you sell it to unreliable people at a throwaway price?” he asked.
Mr Alexander Wainaina, the scheme’s manager, said efforts were being made to ensure that the maize did not rot in farms and compounds.
The scheme collapsed 15 years ago and the government has promised to revive it.