, NYAHURURU, Kenya, Aug 2 – Farmers in the agricultural rich Nyandarua County have protested what they termed as failure by the government to provide ready market for their farm produce despite the biting hunger prevailing in various parts of the country.
Farm produce worth millions of shillings has gone to waste in the last one month after rotting in the farms.
Farmers blame the losses on poor road infrastructure and diminishing prices despite a devastating famine in other parts of the country that has so far affected more than three million Kenyans mainly in the Northern part of the country.
They are now petitioning the government to buy the food from them so as to feed the hungry.
Areas that are experiencing a production glut include Kinangop, Kipipiri, Engineer, Njabini, Ndunyu Njeru, Ndunduri and Ol-Kalou.
Speaking in Nyahururu town on Tuesday, former Planning Minister Mwangi Githiomi regretted that farmers in the region were now counting heavy losses as the products rot in their farms.
“It is a shame that hunger is being felt everywhere in the country yet food products in the region are rotting at our farms. We are now feeding it to cows while people are starving!” he said.
He noted that the government should put measures where it buys food from them to feed the hungry.
The former Kipipiri MP urged the Ministry of Special Programmes to put up buying points where farmers can sell cabbages, potatoes and other products for them to be supplied to the starving people.
“These products are in plenty in this region and the ministry should consider buying them from us instead of them rotting in farms. Why should we watch as our people die and yet we are feeding the food to the livestock?” he posed.
He also urged the government to improve on infrastructure so that the food can reach the market at the appropriate time.
He regretted that various roads in Kinangop and Kipipiri regions were in their worst state and farmers cannot deliver their produce to the market on time.
The leader said that unless this was done, farmers risked abandoning vegetable farming despite the region being the food basket foremost of the Nairobi residents.