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The government through the Ministry of Devolution on Friday made a fresh promise to farmers that they will be paid their dues from Monday next week.

Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa regretted the delays, which he attributed to the absence of a substantive Strategic Food Reserve (SFR) board and verification of farmers.

He spoke on Friday in his office in Nairobi during a press briefing.

“Even after verification and after the ministry released the money, the cereals board cannot pay farmers because of lack of quorum in the SFR board. The term of some of the board members has expired,” Eugene said.

However, he said, the board members’ term was extended on Friday morning vide gazette notice number 9930.

Farmers are yet to be paid Sh3.5 billion for maize delivered last year.

Read: State yet to pay maize farmers Sh3.5bn as harvest season nears

Eugene said the government released Sh1.3 billion to the Agriculture ministry last week.

The CS said the SFR board will now sit with the National Cereals and Produce Board to agree on how to proceed with the payments.

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Eugene said his Agriculture counterpart Mwangi Kiunjuri will give a detailed statement later.

He said priority will be given to 514 small-scale farmers of the 900 genuine group.

Eugene said the 514 farmers are owed Sh2 million and below.

“That will only amount to about Sh466 million. That will clear the majority of the farmers that we owe after which we will deal with the remaining 386,” Wamalwa said.

Eugene’s remarks come a day after farmers in Eldoret made an emotional appeal to senators holding sittings in the town to help them get their cash.

On Friday, the Senate ad-hoc committee on the maize crisis chaired by Uasin Gishu senator Margaret Kamar visited the NCPB depot in Eldoret and found the stores filled up with maize.

Kamar said they will make recommendations after getting views from farmers on how they want the board to be managed.

Read: Maize farmers seek Senate’s help to make state pay them

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