NYAHURURU, Nov 12 – The Pyrethrum Board of Kenya (PBK) has announced plans to pay more than Sh54 million owed to farmers by year-end.
PBK Chairman Solomon Boit said the money would be disbursed once Parliament passes the Appropriation Bill.
Mr Boit said the arrears were part of the money, which was not paid to farmers since 2008 to June this year adding that PBK was determined to improve the image of the pyrethrum board by paying its farmers.
“PBK cannot survive without farmers and we all know that most of them have uprooted the crop after the board failed to pay for their deliveries,” he said.
He added that the board would pay 40 percent of the arrears to the farmers who delivered pyrethrum between June and September in the next two weeks.
The money, which amounts to some Sh14 million has been sourced from stakeholders abroad and the Ministry of Agriculture.
“This is the first effort that the new board is taking to clear all dues that it owes to the farmers. We believe that we will have cleared all the debts owed to suppliers and other stakeholders by the end of the year,” Mr Boit noted.
He was speaking in Nyandarua on Wednesday after meeting with pyrethrum farmers drawn from various parts of the region where he observed that pyrethrum production faced stiff competition from other well paying enterprises such as dairy and horticulture
He revealed that the board was determined to revive the once prosperous pyrethrum sector adding Kenya still commands huge international market owing to its high quality crops compared to other countries in the world.
“Kenya is currently commanding about 90 percent of the pyrethrum sold in the world market and that is why we area encouraging farmers to increase the crop production.”
The board has embarked on providing free seedlings to pyrethrum farmers in Molo, West Pokot, Nyandarua and Meru aimed at increasing the acreage under cultivation from the current 10,000 acres to 20,000 acres.