KISUMU, Kenya, Mar 6 – Rice farmers in West Kano Irrigation Scheme have been urged to deliver their rice to the irrigation board directly in order to fetch better prices.
The scheme’s manager Joel Tanui says farmers should heed to a presidential directive asking them to avoid selling their produce to middlemen at throwaway prices.
He told farmers that the prices will continue to improve over time even as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s call for an increase in the price of unprocessed rice from Sh45 to Sh85 continues to take effect.
“We are discouraging rice going into the hands of brokers and Ugandan traders, we want them to supply to government dealers so that they can improve their standards of living,” Tanui said.
At the same time, the manager said that plans are underway for the expansion of the West Kano irrigation scheme from the current 11,000 to 16,000 acres.
The expansion is expected to cater to the growing increase of the amount of rice being harvested.
“Already we are seeing improvements, last farmers managed to harvest 25,000 metric tonnes,” he said.
Last month, Kenyatta ordered the Ministry of Agriculture to increase the price unprocessed rice following complaints from farmers.
The President said his government is committed to ensuring that farmers no longer suffer due to lack of market for their produce.