Miraa farmers to get Sh1bn budgetary support

President Uhuru Kenyatta has today announced a budgetary allocation of Sh1 billion to cushion Miraa growers from the challenges brought about by ban of Miraa in the European markets two years ago.

President Kenyatta said he instructed the Cabinet that discussed government budgetary priorities in Naivasha last week for the next financial year to include the funds to support Miraa like other cash crops.

The President spoke at State House Nairobi when he signed into law a Bill that will categorize Miraa as a cash crop. The amended Crops act opens doors for the crop to benefit from government budgetary funding.

The Act obligates the National Government to establish mechanisms for promotion, production, distribution and marketing of Miraa as a cash crop.

The assent gives legal backing for farmers and traders to grow, harvest and sell Miraa produce in the country without any hindrances.

He said the funds will be availed through the ministry of Agriculture and directed Agriculture Cabinet Secretary to sit with the Meru leadership to agree on the mode of disbursement.

READ: Miraa prices plummet in the wake of UK ban

Also read: What government missed in bid to save Miraa

President Kenyatta announced formation of a new task force to look into the ills afflicting the Miraa sub-sector and make recommendations for implementation by the government.

The old task force was disbanded after Meru leaders moved to court.

Revive Miraa sector

During the meeting, Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi, Women Rep Florence Kajuju and the chairman of Meru Parliamentary group Mithika Linturi thanked the President for the efforts to revive the Miraa sub-sector.

“We are happy with your government for addressing the development concerns of the Meru people in terms of infrastructure development, construction of dams and issuance of title deeds,” the leaders told the President.

Speaking during the occasion, Deputy President expressed Jubilee government’s commitment to resolving all development challenges facing the Meru region.