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Senators visited the National Cereals and Produce Board in Eldoret and found the stores filled up with maize.

Farmers have not been paid Sh3.5 billion for their maize deliveries last year. Farmers are preparing to harvest this year’s crop in two months.

The Senate ad-hoc committee on the maize crisis chaired by Uasin Gishu senator Margaret Kamar inspected the stores.

Senators Moses Wetang’ula, Petronilla Were and Samson Cherargei said they will prepare a report after the tour.

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

The senators also held a second public hearing on the maize crisis in Kapsabet town. Farmers asked the senators to intervene for them to be paid.

On Wednesday, farmers made an emotional appeal to the leaders to step in and help them get their cash. Hundreds of them gave their views to the Kamar team.

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

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“We wonder what will happen because we are about to start harvesting again. When will we get out money?” former MP Jesse Maisz asked.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, senators Kipchumba Murkomen (Uasin Gishu), Moses Wetang’ula (Bungoma), Gideon Moi (Baringo) and Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), among other senators, attended the meeting in Eldoret.

The Treasury has released Sh1.4 billion for maize supplied to the board last year.

The Ministry of Agriculture has finished vetting farmers to weed out cartels, but a month later, farmers have not received their money.

Senator Moi said the economy in maize growing area has been affected by the crisis.

Governors in the North Rift have asked the government to restructure the cereals board.

“Agriculture is devolved, so counties should be allowed to take charge,” Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago said.

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