NAIROBI, KENYA: Farmers in three counties of Kajiado, Baringo, and Narok have been rescued from loans owed to Agricultural Finance Corporation.
On Monday, President Uhuru directed a waiver of up to Sh1.5 billion the farmers owe Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC).
The President’s action is part of a broader agenda to ease financial pressure on farmers across the country to promote renewed investment in a key sector of the economy.
The loans were taken to support wheat, sorghum and livestock farming, but capricious weather led to heavy farm losses and farmers were unable to repay. AFC had continued to hold onto land title deeds taken as collateral for the loans.
The President directed the National Treasury, working with AFC, to ensure that farmers are handed back their title deeds to ease pressure on them and to allow them take other investment decisions.
Samburu was also affected by the AFC distress and the President is likely to announce similar relief when he visits the county in the coming days.
The waiver in respect of the AFC loans is the latest in unprecedented relief the President has ordered over the last 3 months for distressed farmers as part of his agenda to bolster agriculture.
– President Kenyatta waived loans amounting to Sh 475 million for dairy farmers belonging to the Meru Dairy Union owed to Government.
– The President last month asked the Treasury to advance Mumias, Chemelil, and Nzoia sugar factories a total of Sh1.1 billion to pay farmers arrears.
– To revamp the coffee sector, President Kenyatta waived a debt of Sh 478 million for Coffee farmers’ SACCOs, and Sh 1.7 billion on STABEX funds through the Cooperative Bank of Kenya in the coffee growing zones of Central and Eastern Kenya and Kisii.
– President Kenyatta has also waived loans amounting to Sh 25 million Bunyala Fishermen Cooperative Society owed to the AFC.
– Last month President Kenyatta facilitated the payment of wage arrears dating back 10 years to 25,000 Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) workers amounting to Sh 250 million.
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