President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the government to release Sh1.2 billion to implement recommendations made by a taskforce towards recovery of the miraa farming sector.
The president issued the directive Tuesday after the 14-member team he formed to look into the sector presented its report to him at State House, Nairobi.
Besides the Sh1.2 billion being released for implementing the recommendations, the government has also allocated another Sh1 billion in the budget presented last week to go towards promoting the cash crop.
Mr Kenyatta said all priority recommendations by the taskforce should be implemented within the year.
“The money that was allocated will now be released and it will be used in accordance with the recommendations of the task force,” said the president.
Key among the immediate recommendations is providing seed capital for farmers to access affordable credit.
This is aimed at redemption of leased miraa farms to break the cycle of poverty. The government will facilitate the setting up of saccos so that growers can access the credit in an organised manner.
The State says it is planning to set up a scientific study at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) with a view to developing a scientific basis for lobbying against the restrictions imposed on the crop in parts of Europe.
The task force also recommended registration of miraa farmers to facilitate target intervention and eliminate possibility of fraud.
The report says a farmer-controlled agency styled along the lines of similar bodies for other cash crops should be formed.
The establishment of a Miraa Research Institute and support for research to develop new miraa products and utilisations is another recommendation.