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The government has released Sh978 million to pay farmers for maize delivered to NCPB in the 2017/18 season.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri on Friday said the first batch of 227 farmers has received Sh200 million.

He said the payment of the balance of Sh778 million, accruing from last year’s deliveries, is currently being processed.

“The payment is strictly meant for genuine farmers who were verified by the multi-agency team,” he tweeted.

They payout is for supplied made between October 2017 to April this year. 

“The process is being verified at the paying point. Therefore, the farmers are requested to be patient,” he added.

The CS said following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive, NCPB staff will work throughout the weekend to expedite the payments to farmers.

Farmers have for the past few months complained over delayed payments.

Treasury CS Henry Rotich had promised to pay the farmers their dues by Monday this week.

The delay saw Nandi Hills Mp Alfred Keter, Moiben Mp Silas Tiren , Baringo Central Joshua Kandie and nominated Mp Sammy Seroney, threaten to mobilise farmers to demonstrate over their Sh1.4 billion debt.

The legislators accused Rotich and Kiunjuri for deliberately lying to farmers “when they know that the government is not committed to the plight of farmers.”

They claimed that in the first batch of payment, brokers, among them senior political figures, benefited leaving the genuine farmers to fate.

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More on this: Help maize farmers get their delayed pay, MPs tell Uhuru

Uhuru on Thursday warned the National Cereals and Produce Board against using money set aside for maize farmers to pay unscrupulous traders.

“I am warning traders who have been benefiting from the sweat of farmers that as long as I am in charge, that will never happen again.”

“I promise you and I swear that before God, that you try that again. You will see what will happen to you,” Uhuru said.

He also directed maize millers to reduce the price of 2kg pack of unga to Sh75.

Read: Sell unga at Sh75, stop exploiting Kenyans, Uhuru and Sonko tell millers

Also read: Small millers to increase unga prices by Sh4-Sh8

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