President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Treasury and the Ministry of Agriculture to start processing payments for thousands of sugarcane farmers owed millions of shillings by the state-owned millers.
The directive comes after the completion of an audit initiated late last year to determine the exact number of growers owed and their details to weed out ghost farmers.
“Last year I directed the Ministry of Agriculture to finalise the audit and verify pending payments to sugarcane farmers. I am pleased to confirm the process is complete. I therefore direct the Ministry of Agriculture and the Treasury to immediately start the process of paying the farmers,” Mr Kenyatta said in a tweet posted late Thursday.
The announcement is a huge relief to farmers who went into festivities with empty pockets last year and have had a tough start for 2019 after the two ministries remained cagey about the Sh2.6 billion debt.
President Kenyatta had directed during the Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kakamega that the farmers be paid the arrears within a month.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri who later promised that the farmers would be paid their dues ‘before Christmas’ has been quiet on the subject since then.